MSF urges Myanmar to lift ban in northern Rakhine

WEB_Rohingya patients in an MSF healthcare facility_Edited_Courtesy_10.08.2018.jpg

Rohingya patients in an MSF healthcare camp Courtesy

Independent humanitarian agencies and access to health care are still blocked in that part of the state

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has urged the Myanmar government to permit them to carry out healthcare and medical operations in the northern Rakhine State.

In a press release issued on Friday, it said that independent humanitarian agencies and access to health care were still blocked in that part of the state, and it was raising major concerns about unmet medical and humanitarian needs, which the people of the region badly require.

The Geneva-based organization, which has provided healthcare and medical services to all communities in northern Rakhine since 1994, was blocked by the Myanmar government from August 11, 2017, about two weeks before insurgents attacked a number of outposts of security forces and the following crackdown of the Myanmar army.

“The lack of sustained independent assessments in Northern Rakhine means that no one has a comprehensive picture of the situation, and the medical and humanitarian needs,” said Benoit De Gryse, MSF’s operations manager for Myanmar.

Benoit said: “The medical needs of the remaining Rohingya population in Northern Rakhine, as well as those of ethnic Rakhine and other minorities, must be thoroughly and independently assessed.”

The organization had repeatedly requested Myanmar to allow them to carry out their operation for the last one year, but was denied.

MSF, also known as Doctors without Borders in English, again urged the government to grant immediate and unfettered access to northern Rakhine, to all independent and impartial humanitarian organizations, to ensure the healthcare needs of the population.

MSF is still providing primary health care and emergency referrals for patients in the Sittwe district, central Rakhine.

Elsewhere in Myanmar, the organization continues to run its medical projects in Shan, Kachin and Yangon, as well as in the Naga Self-Administered Zone and the Tanintharyi Region.

Source: Dhaka Tribune.

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