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MSF cautiously optimistic over Myanmar return

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors without Borders, has expressed cautious optimism about news that it can resume its medical activities in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

YANGON: Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), or Doctors without Borders, has expressed cautious optimism about news that it can resume its medical activities in Myanmar's Rakhine state.

In a statement released on Friday (July 25), MSF Amsterdam's operations director Marcel Langenbach said he hopes MSF can restart treating patients in Rakhine as soon as possible, without specifying a date for resumption.

The government had stopped MSF's Rakhine operations in February this year, after the organisation was accused of focusing their help on Rohingyas or Bengalis. But the government announced on Thursday (July 24) that it's allowing MSF to resume its medical operations in Rakhine.

Mr Langenbach said the organisation understands that Rakhine is a "sensitive environment, particularly with regard to inter-communal tensions." He added this makes it "all the more important that independent international organisations can play their role in treating those most vulnerable."

MSF, the largest non-governmental medical provider in Rakhine, had been working in the state since 1994, before it was told to seize operations. Last year alone, MSF doctors and health workers performed over 400,000 consultations in Rakhine addressing problems such as HIV, tuberculosis and malnutrition.

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