Antananarivo — An explosion on 25 January in Antananarivo left a three-year-old child dead and 37 people injured. Malagasy Red Cross Society volunteers, already working in the area in first-aid posts, took immediate action. They administered first aid and helped transfer the most seriously injured to the nearby Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona Hospital by ambulance.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helped the hospital to cope with the massive influx of casualties by providing it with enough wound-dressing materials, antibiotics, anaesthetics and intravenous fluids to treat up to 50 injured patients.
"To save lives, it's essential that action be taken quickly and that quality medical care be provided," said Christoph Vogt, head of the ICRC delegation in Madagascar. "For several years, the ICRC has been giving the Malagasy Red Cross support in the area of first aid. It has helped train more than 1,500 volunteers who are ready to perform their tasks whenever violence occurs or in the event - all too frequent in Madagascar - of natural disaster."
In the run-up to the recent elections, Antananarivo had already been rocked by a series of bomb attacks which, however, never resulted in such a large number of casualties.