MSF raises concerns on mental health of displaced Mozambican civilians

 A child next to his home, Mozambique A child next to his home, Mozambique Photo by Wilhan José Gomes on Pixabay

04 March 2021

Mozambicans who flee Cabo Delgado are in urgent need of mental health support, MSF medical coordinator said

On March 4th, Patricia Postigo, Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) medical coordinator released an interview in which she discusses the deep impact of the ongoing violence on displaced Mozambicans, especially considering the city of Montepuez, where MSF started working in November 2020. The city is one of the destinations of civilians who flee the province of Cabo Delgado, which is plagued by increasing violence. In the final months of 2020, around 1,500 people arrived in Montepuez every week. Many of them end up staying in two camps located on the outskirts of the city. The number of people hosted in the camps is increasing: back in November, there were around 3,000 people in each, while today that number has risen to 10,000. 

The majority of the people who arrive in Montepuez are women and children, many orphans due to the conflict. In total, according to MSF, nearly 670,000 people have been displaced due to the violence which is ongoing since 2017. Civilians who flee Capo Delgado arrive in Montepuez after walking for days through the jungle in extreme conditions. However, the MSF medical coordinator notes, the deepest suffering of those who arrive in the city is the psychological one. For this reason, MSF provides mental health services in order to support displaced civilians. Moreover, it has built a treatment centre for cholera, as well as COVID-19 and malaria, which are also spreading in the region. 


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Author: Alessia Rossinotti; Editor: Alexander Collin

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