|ICRC Activities in Zaire/Democratic Republic of Congo: 1994 - 3 February 1999 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 124 p.)|
28 August 1997
ICRC News 33
The regular shelling that continues to devastate the centre of Brazzaville has forced the front-line Talangay hospital, the sole medical facility in the northern part of the Congolese capital, to move elsewhere. Its staff and patients were transferred on 22 August to a quiet area 20 km further north and housed in a school in the small town of Kintele. The ICRC has installed a 10,000 litre water tank there and built latrines. Delegates and Congolese Red Cross volunteers are also regularly distributing surgical and other medical supplies to all medical facilities in both northern and southern Brazzaville.
The ICRC is meeting the needs of people fleeing the fighting: it is supporting temporary health posts along the roads. Up to 15 such posts have enabled the thousands of displaced people seeking refuge outside the city to be provided with drinking water and medicines.
On the other side of the river, in Kinshasa, the Red Cross of the Democratic Republic of the Congo has set up a triage centre with the help of the ICRC for the wounded and sick who manage to get across. It is staffed by about a dozen of the National Societys first-aid workers and an ICRC nurse, who treat minor injuries and ailments on the spot. More serious casualties are taken by the ICRC to the General Hospital in an ambulance loaned by the Belgian Red Cross.
In case other victims of the conflict in Brazzaville arrive, the ICRC is also providing medicines and other medical supplies to the General Hospital, where about a hundred beds have been specially prepared, and to two other Kinshasa hospitals. To date, it has transferred 45 people to hospital and is monitoring their progress.
Assistance is being ferried by barges across the river Congo from Kinshasa to Brazzaville several times a day. Fearing that the hostilities as yet centred in Brazzaville might spread to other parts of the country, the ICRC is considering every possible means of transporting humanitarian emergency aid further inland by river or otherwise. Its team has been increased and now consists of some 30 expatriates.