MSF says it is a private, international, humanitarian, non-profit organisation, providing humanitarian assistance to people in need, irrespective of race, religion, ideology or politics and adheres to the principles of independence, impartiality, and neutrality. It is only after the end of the fighting in May 2009 that MSF was able to provide medical assistance to the victims of the conflict in North Vavuniya and this was outside the battle zone at the Omanthai checkpoint.MSF provided surgical support in Vavuniya hospital and in addition established an emergency field hospital for the displaced population living in camps in Menik Farm.Again, all of this activity was outside the battle zone, MSF said in the statement.MSF France meanwhile says it remains committed to working alongside the Ministry of Health to support the District General Hospital of Mullaitivu in 2012, and develop assistance in mental health care in the Mullaitivu District. However in a statement emailed to The Sunday Leader MSF said it had made numerous requests to the government for access to the battle zone in northern Sri Lanka and these requests were repeatedly denied, despite expressing extremely serious concerns about the fate of civilians who were trapped in the heavy fighting. The medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) says it is concerned about a claim by Secretary of Defense Gotabhaya Rajapaksa that MSF was present in 2009 in Sri Lanka’s war zone and received surrendering militants to be treated.In an interview published on February 6th in India and reproduced in the Sri Lankan media, the Secretary of Defense is purported to have said that MSF teams were present in the battle zone during the fighting. “… Mr Gotabaya said international agencies, including the French MSF (Medicines Sans Frontiers) and the Indian medical team, were present in the battle zone to receive survivors and surrendered militants,” an Indian media report had said. Ahead of the final offensive, in September 2008, along with most other international organisations, MSF was given a government directive to leave Kilinochchi.Thereafter, MSF repeatedly requested permission to enter the battle zones to provide medical care to the civilian population. Permission was sought from numerous ministries, including the Ministries of Health as well as Defence, but at no point was this request granted during the final stages of the conflict in late 2008 and 2009.
Ms Cafferkey admitted taking paracetamol at some point after she realised she had an elevated temperature and when she went to the screening area for a second time the doctor who examined her found her temperature was normal and cleared her to fly to Scotland. Anu Thompson, for the NMC, said: “The mischief in this case is that Ms Cafferkey, realising she had an elevated temperature, allowed an incorrect temperature to be entered on her screening form and left the screening area without disclosing to anyone in authority what her true temperature was.”She woke up the following morning feeling very unwell and was diagnosed with one of the most severe viral loads of Ebola ever recorded. Ms Cafferkey spent almost a month in isolation at the Royal Free at the beginning of 2015. She was later discharged after apparently making a full recovery, and in March 2015 returned to work as a public health nurse at Blantyre Health Centre in South Lanarkshire.But she has since had two further admissions to hospital, one with a relapse of the Ebola virus and the other with chronic meningitis. Doctors discovered last October that Ebola was still in her system. In the months that followed, her health suffered as she had issues with her thyroid, her hair fell out and she had headaches and pains in her joints.The court heard she was receiving psychological support following the trauma of requiring a prolonged admission inside an isolation tent, having a life-threatening illness and the effect of “media intrusion” during a very difficult process.A report from a Glasgow-based doctor said that her prognosis was uncertain as the only patient to have developed a reactivation of the Ebola virus infection 10 months after the initial illness.She said last month that she hoped once the full fact were known the misconduct hearing would dismiss the claims. Pauline Cafferky after recovering at the Royal Free Hospital, London, in 2015 The Ebola nurse Pauline Cafferkey said she was delighted and relieved to have been cleared of allegations of misconduct when she returned to the UK with the virus.She was accused by the Nursing and Midwifery Council of allowing the wrong temperature to be recorded while she was in a “chaotic” Ebola screening unit at Heathrow in December 2014.She was already showing signs of fever when the incorrect temperature was recorded on a screening form and she was allowed to fly home to Scotland. The following day she became seriously ill with the virus. The NMC misconduct hearing in Edinburgh heard that she could have put the public at risk.But after a two-day hearing the regulatory body ruled that because she was already suffering from the early stages of Ebola her judgement was impaired at the time.It decided she could not be found guilty of misconduct when an inaccurate temperature was recorded at the Public Health England screening unit at Terminal 4.The 40-year-old nurse was accused of allowing the wrong temperature to be recorded, and leaving the unit without reporting her true temperature. Pauline Cafferkey enters an isolation tent before being flown back to hospital in London in February this yearCredit:Getty However, the hearing was also told that the PHE unit was not properly prepared to receive so many travellers from at-risk countries on December 28, 2014, and was “busy, disorganised and even chaotic”.Despite that fact, it was a complaint from PHE that triggered the disciplinary process against a nurse regarded by many as a hero for putting her own life at risk to help tackle the Ebola epidemic in Sierra Leone.Her lawyer said she was delighted with the outcome and although she still has health problems she was now free to continue working as a nurse in Lanarkshire.Joyce Cullen added that Ms Cafferkey, from Cambuslang, willingly put her life at risk to travel to West Africa as a volunteer.She added: “She and hundreds of other volunteers played a vital role in saving lives and helping to curb the epidemic in extremely challenging circumstances. “As the panel heard, when Pauline and her fellow volunteers arrived at Heathrow, they were faced with chaotic scenes.“Public Health England were unprepared for the volume of people returning from countries affected by Ebola. They were also serious failures of communication amongst the Public Health England staff.”Ms Cullen added that it was “perhaps ironic” that given the criticisms made of PHE’s processes, it was their complaint that led to the NMC investigation and the proceedings being initiated.She said: “No doubt lessons have been learned. Throughout her career, Pauline has been motivated by a genuine desire to help other people even if this meant putting her own life at risk.“She would never have knowingly put anyone in danger. Pauline was lucky to survive and since her return from Sierra Leone has continued to suffer from ill health.” The lawyer said the disciplinary process had been “upsetting and stressful” for Ms Cafferkey.Timothy Cole, chairman of the misconduct panel, said there was “compelling and clear medical evidence” about Ms Cafferkey’s state of mind and ability to reason when she returned to the UK.He added that she was in a “medically-impaired state” when her temperature was put down as 37.2C and she was allowed to continue to arrivals.In fact, it had been recorded twice by a doctor at 38.2C and 38.3C – above the 37.5C level which should have triggered alarm bells and led to a consultant being contacted.But, clearing the nurse of misconduct, Mr Cole said it was not disputed that at the time she was “experiencing the early effects of a significant viral load of Ebola” and her health was “going rapidly downhill”.He also said the events had “occurred in circumstances characterised as disorganised and chaotic”.Ms Cafferkey spent over a month in an isolation unit at the Royal Free Hospital in London in early 2015.She came close to death on two separate occasions as the virus lingered in her system and developed meningitis in September 2015.She has 18 years of experience as a nurse and has previously volunteered to work in Sudan and Bangladesh. She was honoured with a Pride of Britain award after her initial recovery and invited to Downing Street. The accusations against her have prompted widespread criticism on social media, with many members of the public saying she should be treated as a hero. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily Front Page newsletter and new audio briefings.