Wednesday 4th April 2012
Tents supplied by a UK relief charity are being used to help medical staff working in the Republic of the Congo.
The ShelterBox tents were sent to the capital Brazzaville after an arms depot exploded, ripping apart neighbourhoods and leaving thousands of people homeless, injured and traumatised. Those affected are now staying in temporary camps.
ShelterBox, based in Helston, Cornwall, has provided tents to the camps, which are now being used by the International Committee Of The Red Cross (ICRC) to give trauma counselling to survivors.
The tents are also being used by the Africa Doctors Association who have been doing minor operations and delivering treatments.
One doctor says he has been able to go from seeing five patients a day to 150 patients a day because of the tents.
The ICRC, the Congolese Red Cross and the French Red Cross have been working to make the blast site safe since the March 8 explosion. They have also worked in the camps to restore family links and help children who have been separated from their families.
ShelterBox response team member John Diksa, has been deployed to the country. He said: "It's a very challenging environment to work in as it looks like an earthquake has hit the city, but then there is also ammunition and unexploded ordnance that needs to be cleared under the rubble before attempting to return these families to their homes.
"Until the site is levelled and cleared, we are distributing tents to families near their damaged homes on cleared, safe ground, allowing them to begin rebuilding their homes. We have also been providing tents for medical purposes to other aid agencies."