MSF moves staff in Dadaab refugee camp over insecurity
28 May 2015, 08:39
Dadaab - Medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) on Wednesday relocated some of its staff in northeastern Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp to Nairobi, due to growing security threats posed by Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants.
MSF spokesperson, Beatrice Debut, said that 42 people, one third of the charity's staff in Dadaab, have been moved following a recent spate of incidents in the area -- a weakening of its service in the world's largest refugee camp.
"This is a preventive measure, which will unfortunately have a direct impact on our ability to provide the much needed medical assistance to the refugees," Debut said.
She said two health stations out of four have been closed, and some medical services, such as antenatal care, suspended.
The move comes after a series of grenade attacks in Garissa county by Al-Shabaab militants who on Monday killed a police officer and injured four others after a fierce gun fight.
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Last week, security forces thwarted attempts by the militants to attack a village in the same region.
Now it appears that the group is firmly establishing itself in Kenya's northeastern region.
Debut said MSF, which has been working in Dadaab for two decades, will continue to evaluate the situation in Dadaab and its staff will return once security is assured.
"Once guarantees have been obtained, MSF can return to full activities as soon as possible," she said.
MSF is currently the only provider of medical care in Dagahaley, one of the five camps in Dadaab.
In 2014, the charity provided 180,000 outpatient consultations, 12,000 antenatal consultations, admitted 12,000 people as inpatients, and delivered 3,240 babies in Dagahaley camp.
In early April, Al-Shabaab's gunmen carried out a siege on Garissa University College, killing 142 students.
After the university attack took place, MSF deployed a team from Dadaab to support Garissa hospital in treating the wounded, and provided medical assistance at Garissa airport, where hundreds of students were evacuated.
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