MSF opened an emergency programme in the far north of Cameroon this year in response to an influx of people fleeing violence in Nigeria.
Conflict and Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria caused hundreds of thousands of people to seek refuge in Cameroon, Chad and Niger in 2015. During the course of the year, violence spread from Nigeria into the three neighbouring countries, leading to the displacement of tens of thousands more. By December, there were some 70,000 refugees and around 90,000 internally displaced people in Cameroon.
In response, MSF started to provide medical assistance to people in several locations in the north of the country. From February, a team offered medical care, maternal services and nutritional support in the UNHCR-administered Minawao refugee camp. MSF also carried out water and sanitation activities, constructing latrines and showers, and supplying clean water. Some 58,000 people, both refugees and members of the local community, were vaccinated against cholera and tetanus in a preventive immunisation campaign in August. In the towns of Mokolo and Mora, near the border with Nigeria, MSF provided specialised nutritional and paediatric care to the displaced and the local population, carrying out a total of 12,921 consultations. Nearly 5,000 children were admitted for care. In June, MSF started supporting the surgical ward at the local hospital in Kousseri, on the Chadian border, performing emergency interventions and caesarean sections.
In July, two suicide attacks in the city of Maroua caused a large number of casualties, and MSF helped the local health authorities to treat the wounded.
Assistance to refugees from Central African Republic (CAR)
In the eastern part of Cameroon, MSF continued to assist refugees who had escaped conflict and violence in neighbouring CAR in 2014. MSF supported the Ministry of Public Health by providing medical, nutritional and psychological care to the refugee and host communities in Garoua-Boulaï, Gbiti and Batouri. The majority of patients were suffering from malnutrition, malaria and respiratory infections.
In July, MSF handed over its medical activities at the Protestant hospital in Garoua-Boulaï to the French Red Cross. During its year at the facility, MSF treated 1,635 children for malnutrition.
In the border town of Gbiti, MSF ran a therapeutic feeding centre, provided primary healthcare consultations and referred severely ill patients to the district hospital in Batouri. MSF also supported the local health authorities at Batouri hospital in the management of patients with severe complicated malnutrition, the majority of whom were children under the age of five. Over 1,800 children were treated in the 90-bed therapeutic feeding centre during the year.
No. staff in 2015: 639 | Expenditure: €12.2 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1984 | msf.org/cameroon