February 15, 2009 Comments Off on MSF tells it as it is!
Medecins Sans Frontieres (aka Doctors Without Borders) staff say patients arriving in Vavuniya hospital are in need of both medical care and counselling. MSF mental health officer Karen Stewart talks about what patients are going through.
“People arrive here in a state of extreme anxiety and fear…Young children and elderly travelling with their caretakers claim they were separated at a checkpoint. The caretakers or family members who were healthy were forced to go to camps, while those wounded and sick had to go to the hospital…Patients were told they would go to the hospital for a few days and then go back to the Vanni again. But later they heard they couldn’t go back…People regretted coming here, saying they would prefer dying with their family to being in a camp…Children at the hospital are unaccompanied. They scream and call out for their mothers. Elderly people are on their own.”