Field of Vision: December 2018


The forced end to Aquarius’ operations; earthquake response in Indonesia; Cameroonian refugees in southern Nigeria; and other stories you may have missed this month. 


Central Mediterranean – 23 September, 2018 – Over the past 72 hours, Aquarius assisted two boats in distress and now has more than 60 survivors on board, several of whom are psychologically distressed and fatigued from their journeys at sea and experiences in Libya.


MSF and its partner SOS MEDITERRANEE were forced to terminate operations by the search and rescue vessel Aquarius earlier this month after a sustained campaign to delegitimise, slander and obstruct aid organisations providing assistance in the Mediterranean Sea. The forced end to the Aquarius’ operations comes at a critical time: an estimated 2,133 people have died in the Mediterranean in 2018, with departures from Libya accounting for the overwhelming majority of deaths.


The MSF team visited one of the survivors in an evacuation camp at Susukan Kampong, Sukarame Village, Carita Sub district. Here they met a 13-year-old adolescent who is also a beneficiary of the MSF adolescent health project in Banten.


At least 429 people have been killed and 1,485 injured in Indonesia after a tsunami hit coastal areas along the Sunda Strait on December 22, according to the country’s National Agency for Disaster Management (BNPB). MSF has mobilised three teams in the area, with one team supporting the health centre in Carita, a second team supporting the health centre in Labuan—both in Pandeglang district—and a mobile team visiting various communities to treat injured patients unable to make it to a health facility.


Dr Nepo during a consultation at the Abgokim clinic.


Political disputes in Cameroon’s south-west and north-west regions escalated in late 2016. Since then, daily violence has caused thousands to flee their villages and find refuge and protection in neighbouring Nigeria. With an estimated 30,000 sheltering in Nigeria, in June 2018 MSF launched activities in Nigeria’s Cross River State. From July to mid-November, medical teams conducted 3,890 consultations.


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