Conflict in neighbouring Nigeria spilled over into Chad in 2015, increasing the need for medical and humanitarian assistance.
By May, nearly 18,000 Nigerian refugees had arrived in Chad; meanwhile, Islamic State’s West Africa Province (ISWAP), formerly known as Boko Haram, started to launch attacks inside the country and clashed with government military forces, causing further waves of displacement. Thousands of people congregated in makeshift sites throughout the Lake Chad region, without adequate shelter, food or water. MSF began to provide assistance in March and scaled up its activities over the year in response to the urgent medical and humanitarian needs of these vulnerable people.
In Baga Sola, where 7,000 refugees had gathered at Dar es Salam camp, MSF offered healthcare to refugees, displaced people and the host community, carrying out over 33,400 medical consultations and nearly 900 mental health consultations, some for victims of sexual violence. Teams distributed more than 2,000 hygiene kits and 660 water-purifying kits. From September, mobile clinics served the host community and displaced people in Bol, providing over 2,700 consultations and distributing 350 kits of hygiene items and 264 water purifying kits. In November, a team started working at Bol regional hospital, offering maternal and neonatal care, nutritional support for children under the age of five and paediatric healthcare for children under 15.
Protecting the lives of women and children
MSF continued to fill some of the critical gaps in healthcare in Chad, primarily responding to disease outbreaks and implementing programmes for women and children. In Bokoro, Hadjer Lamis region, MSF runs a project for malnourished children through inpatient and mobile therapeutic feeding centres. The team also supports the government’s immunisation programme, treats patients for malaria, diarrhoea and acute respiratory tract infections, ensures access to safe water and runs community health promotion activities. This year, 4,400 children were treated for severe malnutrition at the inpatient feeding centre.
In Am Timan, Salamat region, MSF supports the public hospital’s paediatric and maternity wards, tuberculosis (TB) and HIV care, a nutrition programme and three mobile clinics. In 2015, teams carried out more than 24,400 outpatient and 4,400 antenatal consultations, treated 8,100 children for malaria and assisted 2,100 deliveries. Some 1,620 patients volunteered for HIV counselling and testing and 68 new patients were initiated on treatment for TB.
In Moissala, Mandoul region, MSF focuses on the health needs of pregnant women and children under the age of five and runs a prevention, detection and treatment programme for paediatric uncomplicated and severe malaria. Four rounds of seasonal malaria chemoprevention (SMC) were administered, reaching around 100,000 children each time. A malaria unit also admitted over 990 children. Oral polio vaccinations were administered to 28,800 children under the age of two, and 14,000 received pentavalent vaccines to protect them against the five most common and dangerous diseases. Over 48,000 children were vaccinated against measles.
In MSF’s surgical programme in Abéché, Ouaddaï region, the team performed 928 surgical interventions this year, mostly on people injured in road accidents or as a result of domestic violence.
Chad Emergency Response Unit (CERU)
MSF’s CERU responded to an outbreak of measles in April by vaccinating 80,000 children in Goz Beida, Dar Sila region. The team also put medical supplies in place and trained Ministry of Health staff on mass casualty management in two hospitals in N’Djamena and one in Abéché, helping them to improve their response in the case of an influx of severely wounded people.
Project closures and handovers
In February, a project providing healthcare to refugees from Central African Republic in Bitoye, Gore Sido region closed, as other healthcare providers were present. A basic and specialist healthcare programme was closed in Tissi, Dar Sila in May for the same reason, and a long-term paediatric and nutrition programme in Massakory, Hadjer Lamis region, was handed over to the Ministry of Health in November.
No. staff in 2015: 754 | Expenditure: €19.5 million | Year MSF first worked in the country: 1981 | msf.org/chad
Hadza El-Hagizegri – Hadza is a refugee living in Dar es Salam camp, Baga Sola. She fled her village near Baga, Nigeria, after an ISWAP attack in January when she was five months pregnant.
"I took a boat with my family. It took four days to cross the lake and reach Chad. I delivered my seventh child two days ago under the tent in the refugee camp with the help of other refugee women. Now I am scared for the future because we have not had food for five days. For the moment I can deal with this situation with the help of other refugees. But if more food is not distributed in the camp we will go back to Nigeria, even though ISWAP is still a threat."