A triple suicide attack that took place on the island of Koulfa in the Lake Chad area in Chad on Saturday morning has reportedly killed 30 people and wounded up to 200. Médecins Sans Frontières teams present in the area have immediately mobilised to provide support to the Chadian Ministry of Health.
The attacks took place at around 10 am on Saturday morning in busy market areas. Wounded people had to be evacuated by boat as there was no easy access to the remote and isolated island. They were first taken to Guitté, a town on the shores of Lake Chad. Forty-two patients were transferred to the district hospital of Mani, a town on the border with Cameroon. The most severely wounded who required advanced surgical care - 36 in total, including 14 children - were transferred by ambulance to the capital, N’djamena.
“This is one of the biggest attacks we have seen in the area in recent months”
“This is one of the biggest attacks we have seen in the area in recent months,” says Federica Alberti, Head of Mission for Médecins Sans Frontières in Chad. “In Mani, the hospital did not have enough space or medications and equipment to deal with the number of wounded. An Médecins Sans Frontières team composed of a surgeon, a doctor and a nurse and two logisticians arrived Sunday afternoon to support the Ministry of Health in the response and teams are now working around the clock to provide lifesaving care.” Médecins Sans Frontières installed three tents with a total of 30 beds to expand the capacity of Mani Hospital. On Sunday afternoon, the team assisted the hospital staff in providing surgical care for 37 wounded patients. The Médecins Sans Frontières logistics team also ensured that electricity and running water were available to support the medical activities.
In N’djamena, to where the 36 severely wounded were transferred, Médecins Sans Frontières is supporting the General Hospital and Liberty Hospital. Teams are also supporting the Mother and Child Hospital where eleven children are currently in a serious condition. In all three hospitals, Médecins Sans Frontières teams have donated essential medications and surgical supplies to assist the Ministry of Health in the response.