Red Cross volunteers on the front lines of potential health crises in Central African Republic

Topics: National, Emergencies and Disasters Worldwide
February 21, 2014

The humanitarian situation in Central African Republic (CAR), presents enormous difficulties due to a lack of food, safe water and over populated living conditions in the many spontaneous settlements where families have fled to avoid the violence, leaving people exposed to diseases including cholera, malaria, diarrhoea and acute respiratory infections. 

"The humanitarian situation in the country has forced close to one million people out of their homes. Half of them are in Bangui,” says Antoine Mbao Bogo, president of the Central African Red Cross Society. “Diarrhoeal diseases and malaria are risks to which this population is exposed. Added to this, the lack of proper health care for the wounded and the sick. The humanitarian situation in CAR is unbearable."

To date, the Red Cross has responded to the needs in CAR by constructing 724 latrines on 20 sites for internally displaced persons and reaching over 65,000 people with messages on general hygiene, hand washing and food conservation.
"In addition to actions dedicated to hygiene and sanitation, we have 291 volunteers who are providing psychosocial support to those affected by the violence, first aid to the wounded, and the dissemination of messages on peace and non-violence," adds Mbao Bogo.

The Canadian Red Cross, with support from the Government of Canada, has deployed three delegates to the region to support response operations, as well as financial support to sustain the Central African Red Cross operations. 

Canadians who wish to support Red Cross efforts in CAR can make a donation to the Canadian Red Cross International Disaster Relief Fund. This fund allows us to accelerate our response to disasters and directly help the most vulnerable during times of emergencies.

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