Nauru says mental health work 'no longer needed'

  • 08/10/2018
Refugees in Nauru.
Refugees in Nauru. Photo credit: Getty

The Nauru government has ordered Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the non-governmental organisation (NGO) that has been providing mental health services there since 2017, to end its work on the island, despite a phycial and mental health crisis.

MSF wrote to its clients over the weekend to inform them that the health minister of Nauru had told them their services were "no longer needed on the island".

The order was made effective immediately.

MSF helps both the Nauru population and its refugees with mental health care.

A detention centre was set up on the tiny island by Australia to house boat people intercepted trying to reach Australian shores, yet the centre has been dogged by allegations of abuse and trauma among women and children.

Dozens have been transferred to Australia under federal court order to receive high-level treatment.

MSF say it is seeking clarity from the Nauru government over its reasoning for the decision, and what alternative services might be available.