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Krygyzstan: Neutrality of medical care must be respected

Six weeks after violent clashes erupted in the south of Kyrgyzstan and despite an apparent return to a more peaceful situation, medical teams working with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continue to deal with cases of violence on a daily basis. More concerning still, depending on their community origin, some people who are in need of medical assistance are not able to access health services due to ongoing fear and tension.

© Alexander Glyadyelov  A woman stands outside a destroyed house in Osh

© Alexander Glyadyelov 
A woman stands outside a destroyed house in Osh

“Every day in our mobile clinics and in the health facilities we are supporting our medical teams treat patients who have suffered heavy beatings and who show signs of torture. Many people, especially from the Uzbek community in Osh, are not going to hospitals as they are afraid of being arrested,” says Andrei Slavuckij, MSF Program Manager for Kyrgyzstan.

Amid a climate of fear and deep mistrust between Uzbek and Kyrgyz communities, access to health care is still a major concern due to the presence of armed personnel in and around some health structures in Osh. 

© Alexander Glyadyelov Uzbek refugees returning to Kyrgyzstan, after crossing th

© Alexander Glyadyelov
Uzbek refugees returning to Kyrgyzstan, after crossing the border at the Sary Tash check point

“In such a tense and volatile context, we call on all responsible authorities to preserve the neutrality of medical facilities. It is essential that any patient who needs care can receive adequate treatment, regardless of their origin,” says Bruno Jochum, Director of Operations for MSF. 

Since the start of the current crisis, MSF has provided over 1,400 medical consultations through four mobile teams in and around Osh and Jalal-Abad. MSF has also been supporting 25 health structures with donations of drugs and medical equipment.

Today, thousands of people are still in a state of deep shock after the extremely violent and traumatic events that took place in June. Mental health needs are immense and MSF is increasingly focusing its action on psychological support. 

View our webclip from Kyrgyzstan

[swf file="http://www.av.msf.org/website/flv/20100722_kyrgyzstan_EN.flv"]




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