6, February 2021
On Thursday morning, February 4, armed men shot at a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) ambulance that was responding to a call in Muyuka, in the South-West region of Cameroon. An MSF nurse was injured in the attack and is now receiving medical care. The vehicle was clearly identified as an MSF ambulance. MSF condemns this attack and reiterates that ambulances, health care facilities, health staff, and civilians are not targets.
A second ambulance was later dispatched to respond to the initial call for emergency medical aid in Muyuka. That patient is now in critical condition.
MSF medical teams have been responding to the severe and ongoing effects of the crisis in North-West and South-West Cameroon since 2018. Our teams provide neutral and impartial medical humanitarian assistance through our emergency ambulance referrals, secondary level care, and a decentralized model of community-based health care.
Reaching people displaced by violence
For four years, Cameroon’s North-West and South-West regions have been convulsed by armed violence between government forces and non-state armed groups, which has displaced more than 700,000 people. The humanitarian needs are enormous and displaced communities face difficulties accessing basic services, including health care.
The crisis has severely affected the public health system and many health centers have closed or are unable to function. Both medical workers and facilities are directly targeted by violence, and insecurity is disrupting the supply of drugs and medical equipment.
Traveling from remote villages to health facilities is a major challenge for many people, due to insecurity, bad road conditions, and lack of transport. MSF offers a free, 24-hour ambulance service that operates seven days a week, collects eligible patients at designated pick-up points and takes them to MSF-supported health centers and hospitals. If MSF cannot reach an area, we provide money for public transport so that patients can reach health structures or make their way to pick-up-points.