MSF calls for protection of patients

 In an escalation of violence in Democratic Republic of Congo’s Ituri province, armed men attacked the town of Drodro on the night of 6 to 7 March, killing a patient in her bed ransacking the general hospital, and looting medical equipment, says international medical organisation Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), whose teams work in Drodro hospital. The attackers also looted another nearby medical facility.  

“What has happened here is nothing short of horrifying,” says Stéphanie Giandonato, MSF programme manager for DRC. “We condemn the killing of a defenceless elderly patient in the strongest possible terms and urge all parties to the conflict to respect and protect patients, medical staff, medical facilities, civilians and humanitarian aid workers.”

The surge in violence in and around Drodro has triggered a mass exodus from the area, with thousands of people seeking refuge at Rho camp for displaced people, about 10 km to the northeast of Drodro. The camp, originally designed to accommodate maximum 30,000 people, is now sheltering more than twice that number.

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