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MSF Ordered to Stop its Mental Health Services on Nauru

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The medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres, also known as Doctors Without Borders, says the Pacific Island of Nauru has ordered it to stop providing mental health care services to the residents, as well as the asylum seekers that Australia houses in detention centers there.

An MSF spokesman told the French news agency, AFP, “The Nauruan government informed Medecins Sans Frontieres that our services were ‘no longer required’ and requested that our activities cease within 24 hours.”

MSF said on its website its team had “identified cases of schizophrenia and family violence, and concerning levels of depression in Nauru, especially among children.”

Tony Bartone, the president of the Australian Medical Association, recently said the situation for children on Nauru is “a humanitarian emergency requiring urgent intervention.”

MSF began delivering mental health care to Nauru in 2017.

In 2014, Australia implemented a tough immigration policy that bars any asylum seeker who tries to arrive by boat from reaching its shores. The asylum seekers are either turned back or sent to remote camps on the tiny Pacific nations of Papua New Guinea or Nauru, and are not allowed to resettle in Australia.

Australia has come under international condemnation for its controversial detention program.

Source: Voice of America

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