Posts tagged Portrait

An Escalating Health Crisis in South Sudan

Since November 2011, MSF has been operating emergency programs in South Sudan for tens of thousands of refugees who fled violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. MSF has field hospitals in five refugee camps in Unity and Upper Nile states in South Sudan (Batil, Doro, Jamam, Yida, and Gendrassa). However, resources in the camps are stretched extremely thin, and the humanitarian crisis is only worsening as more refugees arrive. Heavy rains have exacerbated the situation, flooding camps and leaving refugees—many of whom have already endured the journey from Sudan on foot—vulnerable to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and cholera.Photo: An MSF clinical officer speaks with a woman on her way to MSF’s outpatient department in Batil camp. South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki

An Escalating Health Crisis in South Sudan

Since November 2011, MSF has been operating emergency programs in South Sudan for tens of thousands of refugees who fled violence in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile States. MSF has field hospitals in five refugee camps in Unity and Upper Nile states in South Sudan (Batil, Doro, Jamam, Yida, and Gendrassa). However, resources in the camps are stretched extremely thin, and the humanitarian crisis is only worsening as more refugees arrive. Heavy rains have exacerbated the situation, flooding camps and leaving refugees—many of whom have already endured the journey from Sudan on foot—vulnerable to diseases like diarrhea, malaria, and cholera.

Photo: An MSF clinical officer speaks with a woman on her way to MSF’s outpatient department in Batil camp.
South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki

Sleeping  Sickness: Treating a Neglected Disease in Central African Republic

Sleeping sickness, which is transmitted by the tsetse fly, is mainly found in central Africa. During the first stage of the illness, people feel feverish and weak, but once the parasite enters their central nervous system, their symptoms change, and they become confused, lose their coordination, and suffer sleep disturbances and personality changes. Their mental faculties deteriorate until eventually they sink into a coma—the long sleep which gives the illness its name. Since 2006, monitoring and controlling sleeping sickness in the remote and inaccessible southeast of CAR has been particularly difficult due to cross-border attacks by the Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army.
This past July, MSF’s mobile sleeping sickness team spent 18 days screening and treating people for the disease in Mboki, in CAR’s Haut M’boumou region. In the week before screening started, community health workers, with the help of local authorities, traveled around the area raising awareness of the disease and passing on the message that free testing and treatment were available.Photo: An MSF health worker checks a young boy for signs of sleeping sickness in Mboki, Central African Republic.CAR 2012 © Sebastian Bolesch

Sleeping Sickness: Treating a Neglected Disease in Central African Republic

Sleeping sickness, which is transmitted by the tsetse fly, is mainly found in central Africa. During the first stage of the illness, people feel feverish and weak, but once the parasite enters their central nervous system, their symptoms change, and they become confused, lose their coordination, and suffer sleep disturbances and personality changes. Their mental faculties deteriorate until eventually they sink into a coma—the long sleep which gives the illness its name.

Since 2006, monitoring and controlling sleeping sickness in the remote and inaccessible southeast of CAR has been particularly difficult due to cross-border attacks by the Ugandan rebel group known as the Lord’s Resistance Army.

This past July, MSF’s mobile sleeping sickness team spent 18 days screening and treating people for the disease in Mboki, in CAR’s Haut M’boumou region. In the week before screening started, community health workers, with the help of local authorities, traveled around the area raising awareness of the disease and passing on the message that free testing and treatment were available.

Photo: An MSF health worker checks a young boy for signs of sleeping sickness in Mboki, Central African Republic.
CAR 2012 © Sebastian Bolesch

Cholera Epidemic Escalates Along Sierra Leone and Guinea Border

The onset of the rainy season in West Africa has caused an increase in cholera cases on both sides of the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea. More than 13,000 people have been admitted to hospitals in the capital cities of Freetown and Conakry since February, when the disease was declared an epidemic. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) currently has more than 800 beds available to treat cholera patients and is opening additional cholera treatment centers and rehydration points in collaboration with local authorities.

Cholera, which spreads through contaminated water and flourishes in unsanitary conditions, causes days of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, and leaves patients visibly emaciated after. It is a punishing affliction. “I want to die,” whispers a patient in MSF’s treatment center in the Mabella slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone. “I’m tired, tired of this disease.”Photo: A 10-year-old patient recovers from cholera at Donka Cholera Treatment Center in Conakry, Guinea.

Guinea 2012 © Holly Pickett/MSF

Cholera Epidemic Escalates Along Sierra Leone and Guinea Border

The onset of the rainy season in West Africa has caused an increase in cholera cases on both sides of the border between Sierra Leone and Guinea. More than 13,000 people have been admitted to hospitals in the capital cities of Freetown and Conakry since February, when the disease was declared an epidemic. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) currently has more than 800 beds available to treat cholera patients and is opening additional cholera treatment centers and rehydration points in collaboration with local authorities.

Cholera, which spreads through contaminated water and flourishes in unsanitary conditions, causes days of diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps, and leaves patients visibly emaciated after. It is a punishing affliction. “I want to die,” whispers a patient in MSF’s treatment center in the Mabella slum in Freetown, Sierra Leone. “I’m tired, tired of this disease.

Photo: A 10-year-old patient recovers from cholera at Donka Cholera Treatment Center in Conakry, Guinea.
Guinea 2012 © Holly Pickett/MSF

Sudanese Refugees Battle To Endure Disease and Desperation in Yida

A two-year-old who had become extremely malnourished due to severe diarrhea is fed through a tube at MSF’s hospital in Yida. MSF is the primary medical provider in Yida (as well as in the camps in Upper Nile State). The organization has doubled the number of beds it has available in Yida to treat increasing numbers of seriously ill patients, and additional staff are also being sent to the area.

Over the past eight months, roughly 60,000 refugees from Sudan’s South Kordofan State have come to Yida, in South Sudan’s Unity State seeking sanctuary. MSF has been working in the camp for that entire period, but teams have seen conditions deteriorate badly of late, with profound medical consequences for the refugees themselves.

Having fled aerial bombardments and longstanding deprivation, they found in Yida a sprawling camp short on resources and services and offering living conditions that have worsened dramatically with the onset of the rainy season. Photographer John Stanmeyer of VII Photo is in Yida this week, and captured the following images of people in dire need of assistance, enduring circumstances that are already claiming, according to epidemiological data, the lives of more than five children each day. “The number of children dying in Yida is appalling,” said André Heller Pérache, MSF head of mission in South Sudan, earlier this month.Photo: South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmyer/VII

Sudanese Refugees Battle To Endure Disease and Desperation in Yida

A two-year-old who had become extremely malnourished due to severe diarrhea is fed through a tube at MSF’s hospital in Yida. MSF is the primary medical provider in Yida (as well as in the camps in Upper Nile State). The organization has doubled the number of beds it has available in Yida to treat increasing numbers of seriously ill patients, and additional staff are also being sent to the area.

Over the past eight months, roughly 60,000 refugees from Sudan’s South Kordofan State have come to Yida, in South Sudan’s Unity State seeking sanctuary. MSF has been working in the camp for that entire period, but teams have seen conditions deteriorate badly of late, with profound medical consequences for the refugees themselves.

Having fled aerial bombardments and longstanding deprivation, they found in Yida a sprawling camp short on resources and services and offering living conditions that have worsened dramatically with the onset of the rainy season. Photographer John Stanmeyer of VII Photo is in Yida this week, and captured the following images of people in dire need of assistance, enduring circumstances that are already claiming, according to epidemiological data, the lives of more than five children each day. “The number of children dying in Yida is appalling,” said André Heller Pérache, MSF head of mission in South Sudan, earlier this month.

Photo: South Sudan 2012 © John Stanmyer/VII

Take Two (Or, My Last Day in Chad)

“Today I leave Chad. It has been a hectic ending, and I will work until I board the plane tonight—but even in all of the craziness I have had time to reflect on my last few months here, and the impact that we have as a humanitarian organization.

“At one point in the week I took a break with our local health promoter. We were sitting outside a tent of the malnutrition hospital, sipping painfully sweet tea, when we heard the cries of a mother who had just lost her child. We live in the hospital compound, and these are the cries that often wake me at night.

“Youssouf, the health promoter, said, “She cries, and then with all of the other mothers she will pray. Pray that the child will return as a bird or as a tree, but not as a human.” I pondered the cultural significance of this, wondered if it is bad luck to return two consecutive times as a human—and in the end I asked for clarification. “No one,” he said, “wants to have to do this again. No one should ever have to be a human in Chad—better to be a bird or a tree.” The words stayed with me. They gave me a better insight into why mothers refuse to have their children transferred to the hospital.”Read the rest of Trich Newport’s blog from her time working with MSF in Chad. Photo: MSF staff care for a severely malnourished child at the Massakory intensive therapeutic feeding center, where Trish worked
Chad 2012 © Stephanie Christaki

Take Two (Or, My Last Day in Chad)

“Today I leave Chad. It has been a hectic ending, and I will work until I board the plane tonight—but even in all of the craziness I have had time to reflect on my last few months here, and the impact that we have as a humanitarian organization.

“At one point in the week I took a break with our local health promoter. We were sitting outside a tent of the malnutrition hospital, sipping painfully sweet tea, when we heard the cries of a mother who had just lost her child. We live in the hospital compound, and these are the cries that often wake me at night.

“Youssouf, the health promoter, said, “She cries, and then with all of the other mothers she will pray. Pray that the child will return as a bird or as a tree, but not as a human.” I pondered the cultural significance of this, wondered if it is bad luck to return two consecutive times as a human—and in the end I asked for clarification. “No one,” he said, “wants to have to do this again. No one should ever have to be a human in Chad—better to be a bird or a tree.” The words stayed with me. They gave me a better insight into why mothers refuse to have their children transferred to the hospital.”

Read the rest of Trich Newport’s blog from her time working with MSF in Chad.

Photo: MSF staff care for a severely malnourished child at the Massakory intensive therapeutic feeding center, where Trish worked

Chad 2012 © Stephanie Christaki

"I’m Going to Tell The Whole World": An HIV "Expert Patient," In Her Own Words


In 2001, I tested positive for HIV. At that time, I was 25 years old and in a terrible state. I had lost a lot of weight, I was vomiting, had cold and hot rashes and was saying weird things. My whole body was covered with sores and I was confined to a wheelchair. Literally, I was more dead than alive.
In 2004, I started volunteering for an organization that helped people living with HIV/AIDS in Nhlangano, the capital of Shiselweni region. They asked me to share my experiences, and I told people about antiretroviral treatment and what it had done for me.

When I started seeing MSF cars in Nhlangano in 2009, I became curious and asked around. Someone told me what MSF was doing, and immediately I wrote my application letter and was hired as an “expert patient.” My role is to do pre and post-test counseling and to be there for the patients when they need support.

I really like the work with the patients. I know I give them hope by telling my story. Today I am fine. I have a healthy four-year-old boy who is HIV negative. Before I had him, five children I brought to this world had died, each after six months. My older son is 17, and he is well, too. I know what the patients are going through, and telling them my story and how important it is to stick to the treatment encourages them. The other day a young girl even told me I was her role model. That made me very happy.Photo: Thembi (right) with her two sons
Swaziland 2012 © Irene Jancsy/MSF

"I’m Going to Tell The Whole World": An HIV "Expert Patient," In Her Own Words

In 2001, I tested positive for HIV. At that time, I was 25 years old and in a terrible state. I had lost a lot of weight, I was vomiting, had cold and hot rashes and was saying weird things. My whole body was covered with sores and I was confined to a wheelchair. Literally, I was more dead than alive.

In 2004, I started volunteering for an organization that helped people living with HIV/AIDS in Nhlangano, the capital of Shiselweni region. They asked me to share my experiences, and I told people about antiretroviral treatment and what it had done for me.

When I started seeing MSF cars in Nhlangano in 2009, I became curious and asked around. Someone told me what MSF was doing, and immediately I wrote my application letter and was hired as an “expert patient.” My role is to do pre and post-test counseling and to be there for the patients when they need support.

I really like the work with the patients. I know I give them hope by telling my story. Today I am fine. I have a healthy four-year-old boy who is HIV negative. Before I had him, five children I brought to this world had died, each after six months. My older son is 17, and he is well, too. I know what the patients are going through, and telling them my story and how important it is to stick to the treatment encourages them. The other day a young girl even told me I was her role model. That made me very happy.

Photo: Thembi (right) with her two sons
Swaziland 2012 © Irene Jancsy/MSF

Interview: Niger’s Very Large But Sadly “Normal” Malnutrition Situation


A complex series of nutritional crises is unfolding across the nations of Africa’s Sahel region. MSF director of operations Dr. Jean-Clément Cabrol has just returned from southern Niger. In this interview, he describes what he found and why a new approach is needed to treat the children who bear the brunt of the region’s chronic food insecurity.Is there a food crisis in Niger?If you’re asking if the situation is exceptional, then the answer is no. In Niger, food access problems that trigger widespread malnutrition are unfortunately recurrent. In 2011, which was not even considered a crisis year, more than 300,000 severely malnourished children were treated throughout Niger, and not only by MSF. This year, that figure could reach 390,000.Read the rest of the interview here.

Photo: A child is weighed at the MSF integrated health center in Dakoro District, Maradi region.
Niger 2012 © Julie Remy

Interview: Niger’s Very Large But Sadly “Normal” Malnutrition Situation

A complex series of nutritional crises is unfolding across the nations of Africa’s Sahel region. MSF director of operations Dr. Jean-Clément Cabrol has just returned from southern Niger. In this interview, he describes what he found and why a new approach is needed to treat the children who bear the brunt of the region’s chronic food insecurity.

Is there a food crisis in Niger?
If you’re asking if the situation is exceptional, then the answer is no. In Niger, food access problems that trigger widespread malnutrition are unfortunately recurrent. In 2011, which was not even considered a crisis year, more than 300,000 severely malnourished children were treated throughout Niger, and not only by MSF. This year, that figure could reach 390,000.

Read the rest of the interview here. Photo: A child is weighed at the MSF integrated health center in Dakoro District, Maradi region.
Niger 2012 © Julie Remy

Battling a Fatal Wave of Malaria in DRC


Two tiny caskets covered with fresh dirt lay sit in front of a house on the road connecting the towns of Dingila, the administrative center of the area, and Zobia. Jeanne, a young mother, stands by mutely. “She can’t speak—she is too sad,” explains a neighbor. “Her children died."

More than 18 people in this small village have died in five months. Most were children. Last year, no one died from malaria, which is endemic in the area. But since the beginning of 2012, unusually high rates of malaria and severe anemia—along with exceptionally high mortality rates—have been recorded in Ganga-Dingila. “People say they have never seen anything like this,” says Dr. Narcisse Wega, MSF’s emergency coordinator, who arrived in June to launch medical activities in the region. “Some parents have lost two or three children in just a few weeks.”

A malaria outbreak has struck several regions of Orientale province in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In early June, MSF sent an emergency team into the Ganga-Dingila health region, where approximately 118,000 people live in isolated, hard-to-reach communities that lack access to medical care.Photo: DRC 2012 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF

Battling a Fatal Wave of Malaria in DRC

Two tiny caskets covered with fresh dirt lay sit in front of a house on the road connecting the towns of Dingila, the administrative center of the area, and Zobia. Jeanne, a young mother, stands by mutely. “She can’t speak—she is too sad,” explains a neighbor. “Her children died."

More than 18 people in this small village have died in five months. Most were children. Last year, no one died from malaria, which is endemic in the area. But since the beginning of 2012, unusually high rates of malaria and severe anemia—along with exceptionally high mortality rates—have been recorded in Ganga-Dingila. “People say they have never seen anything like this,” says Dr. Narcisse Wega, MSF’s emergency coordinator, who arrived in June to launch medical activities in the region. “Some parents have lost two or three children in just a few weeks.

A malaria outbreak has struck several regions of Orientale province in northwest Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In early June, MSF sent an emergency team into the Ganga-Dingila health region, where approximately 118,000 people live in isolated, hard-to-reach communities that lack access to medical care.

Photo: DRC 2012 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF

The Risks of Childbirth in Somalia

Doctor Hamida Shakib Mohamed just helped deliver a healthy boy weighing 3.6 kilograms [about 8 pounds]. It’s a good thing the mother made it to this health center; it was a difficult labor and she needed the assistance of a skilled birth attendant using a vacuum device to complete the delivery. She lives in a village about 110 kilometers [about 68 miles] north of here, but her father insisted she make the trip. He appreciates the MSF–supported services here after his wife was treated for post-partum hemorrhaging just a few months ago. “We give the right care," says Dr. Hamida, "so people come to us.”

Last December, MSF expanded its medical services in Galcayo North to include maternity and obstetric care. The number of deliveries has since boomed to about 200 per month, with many mothers coming from increasingly far away. Dr. Hamida is happy about that. She’s Somali, educated in Mogadishu in the 1980s, but holds a foreign passport and has lived abroad for most of the past two decades. “Now that my children are grown,” she says “I’m free and I want to give my energy to the Somali community.” She couldn’t be more needed.A baby rests in the inpatient post-natal department of MSF’s Galcayo South hospital.
Somalia 2011 © Siegfried Modola

The Risks of Childbirth in Somalia

Doctor Hamida Shakib Mohamed just helped deliver a healthy boy weighing 3.6 kilograms [about 8 pounds]. It’s a good thing the mother made it to this health center; it was a difficult labor and she needed the assistance of a skilled birth attendant using a vacuum device to complete the delivery. She lives in a village about 110 kilometers [about 68 miles] north of here, but her father insisted she make the trip. He appreciates the MSF–supported services here after his wife was treated for post-partum hemorrhaging just a few months ago. “We give the right care," says Dr. Hamida, "so people come to us.

Last December, MSF expanded its medical services in Galcayo North to include maternity and obstetric care. The number of deliveries has since boomed to about 200 per month, with many mothers coming from increasingly far away. Dr. Hamida is happy about that. She’s Somali, educated in Mogadishu in the 1980s, but holds a foreign passport and has lived abroad for most of the past two decades. “Now that my children are grown,” she says “I’m free and I want to give my energy to the Somali community.” She couldn’t be more needed.

A baby rests in the inpatient post-natal department of MSF’s Galcayo South hospital.
Somalia 2011 © Siegfried Modola

South Sudan: “What We Are Facing Is An Extremely Serious Situation”

About 100,000 refugees fleeing the fighting in the Sudanese state of Blue Nile have taken refuge in Maban County in South Sudan. In the camp of Batil, home to 34,000 people, malnutrition is increasing. More than 1,000 children have been admitted to Doctors Without Borders’ nutritional programs, and the number continues to rise as the humanitarian response struggles to keep up with the needs.

Photo:A child is examined for symptoms of malnutrition at Jamam refugee camp in Upper Nile State.
South Sudan 2012 © Robin Meldrum/MSF

South Sudan: “What We Are Facing Is An Extremely Serious Situation”

About 100,000 refugees fleeing the fighting in the Sudanese state of Blue Nile have taken refuge in Maban County in South Sudan. In the camp of Batil, home to 34,000 people, malnutrition is increasing. More than 1,000 children have been admitted to Doctors Without Borders’ nutritional programs, and the number continues to rise as the humanitarian response struggles to keep up with the needs.

Photo:A child is examined for symptoms of malnutrition at Jamam refugee camp in Upper Nile State.
South Sudan 2012 © Robin Meldrum/MSF

Malnutrition in the Sahel: One Million Children Treated, But What’s Next?In this interview, MSF pediatrician Susan Shepherd and MSF nutrition specialist Stéphane Doyon Discuss the situation in the Sahel RegionOne million children suffering from severe malnutrition will be treated this year by governments and aid organizations across the Sahel. How should we interpret this number?Susan Shepherd: It’s both a failure and a success. The failure is that each year, countries within the Sahel will face recurrent, large-scale nutritional crises that are growing even worse in some countries. One million malnourished children—that’s an enormous figure. But the most important take away from this year is how all of the aid actors—governments, United Nations agencies, and NGOs—have managed the crisis. Because of this, the major success is that for the first time, one million malnourished children will be treated in the Sahel, and the vast majority of these one million children will recover.Stéphane Doyon: Prior to the 2005 nutrition crisis in Niger, malnourished children didn’t receive treatment and childhood malnutrition was virtually unrecognized. One million malnourished children receiving treatment doesn’t necessarily imply things are getting worse, but rather implies a major step forward in treatment. Improved malnutrition management results in large part from the political will summoned by the governments who wish to tackle this pathology. For the first time since the 2005 nutritional crisis in Niger, the most-affected countries have implemented ambitious response plans for treating malnourished children and establishing early preventive measures. Donors have committed to funding programs for therapeutic foods and nutritional supplements that are adapted to the needs of infants, even if all the funds have not yet been released.Read the rest of this interview here. 

Photo:A mother and her two-year-old await treatment at an MSF Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Center in Niger.

Niger March 2012 © Julie Remy

Malnutrition in the Sahel: One Million Children Treated, But What’s Next?

In this interview, MSF pediatrician Susan Shepherd and MSF nutrition specialist Stéphane Doyon Discuss the situation in the Sahel Region

One million children suffering from severe malnutrition will be treated this year by governments and aid organizations across the Sahel. How should we interpret this number?

Susan Shepherd: It’s both a failure and a success. The failure is that each year, countries within the Sahel will face recurrent, large-scale nutritional crises that are growing even worse in some countries. One million malnourished children—that’s an enormous figure. But the most important take away from this year is how all of the aid actors—governments, United Nations agencies, and NGOs—have managed the crisis. Because of this, the major success is that for the first time, one million malnourished children will be treated in the Sahel, and the vast majority of these one million children will recover.

Stéphane Doyon: Prior to the 2005 nutrition crisis in Niger, malnourished children didn’t receive treatment and childhood malnutrition was virtually unrecognized. One million malnourished children receiving treatment doesn’t necessarily imply things are getting worse, but rather implies a major step forward in treatment. Improved malnutrition management results in large part from the political will summoned by the governments who wish to tackle this pathology. For the first time since the 2005 nutritional crisis in Niger, the most-affected countries have implemented ambitious response plans for treating malnourished children and establishing early preventive measures. Donors have committed to funding programs for therapeutic foods and nutritional supplements that are adapted to the needs of infants, even if all the funds have not yet been released.

Read the rest of this interview here.

Photo:A mother and her two-year-old await treatment at an MSF Inpatient Therapeutic Feeding Center in Niger.

Niger March 2012 © Julie Remy

As South Sudan marks the first anniversary of its independence on July 9, MSF teams are struggling to save lives in one of the most complicated and challenging refugee crises in its history. Having arrived with stories of violence, some 100,000 Sudanese refugees, many of them ill, have sought sanctuary in camps in Upper Nile State with inadequate resources and harsh living conditions. Here, we take a look at the year that led up to this emergency.Photo: South Sudan © Shannon Jensen

As South Sudan marks the first anniversary of its independence on July 9, MSF teams are struggling to save lives in one of the most complicated and challenging refugee crises in its history. Having arrived with stories of violence, some 100,000 Sudanese refugees, many of them ill, have sought sanctuary in camps in Upper Nile State with inadequate resources and harsh living conditions.

Here, we take a look at the year that led up to this emergency.

Photo: South Sudan © Shannon Jensen

As South Sudan marks the first anniversary of its independence on July 9, MSF teams are struggling to save lives in one of the most complicated and challenging refugee crises in its history. Having arrived with stories of violence, some 100,000 Sudanese refugees, many of them ill, have sought sanctuary in camps in Upper Nile State with inadequate resources and harsh living conditions. Here, we take a look at the year that led up to this emergency.Photo: South Sudan © Shannon Jensen

As South Sudan marks the first anniversary of its independence on July 9, MSF teams are struggling to save lives in one of the most complicated and challenging refugee crises in its history. Having arrived with stories of violence, some 100,000 Sudanese refugees, many of them ill, have sought sanctuary in camps in Upper Nile State with inadequate resources and harsh living conditions.

Here, we take a look at the year that led up to this emergency.

Photo: South Sudan © Shannon Jensen

Rains Threaten to Worsen Already Dire Situation for More Than 100,000 Refugees in South Sudan

In Maban County, rains slowed the planned relocation of approximately 12,000 refugees from a transit site known as “KM18” to the Jamam transit camp and then onwards to Batil camp. “They need to get down to Jamam before the roads get completely closed with the rain,” said MSF health advisor Lauren Cooney.Resources—water in particular—are stretched extremely thin in all locations, but KM18 is of particular concern because its water supply is dwindling faster than refugees can be relocated.

Doctors Without Borders is assisting refugees in several locations in the area and is finalizing the establishment of its third field hospital in the camps—this one in Batil—in the coming days.Photo: Halima Atayp of Jam village has been walking for 20 days with her seven-month-old baby and extended family.

South Sudan 2012 © Shannon Jensen

Rains Threaten to Worsen Already Dire Situation for More Than 100,000 Refugees in South Sudan

In Maban County, rains slowed the planned relocation of approximately 12,000 refugees from a transit site known as “KM18” to the Jamam transit camp and then onwards to Batil camp. “They need to get down to Jamam before the roads get completely closed with the rain,” said MSF health advisor Lauren Cooney.

Resources—water in particular—are stretched extremely thin in all locations, but KM18 is of particular concern because its water supply is dwindling faster than refugees can be relocated.

Doctors Without Borders is assisting refugees in several locations in the area and is finalizing the establishment of its third field hospital in the camps—this one in Batil—in the coming days.

Photo: Halima Atayp of Jam village has been walking for 20 days with her seven-month-old baby and extended family.

South Sudan 2012 © Shannon Jensen

Introducing a New Concept: Mental Health Support in Northwestern Pakistan


“I still remember there was a big bomb blast in April 2010, about 300 meters [about 984 feet] away from our hospital. Within a few minutes, dozens of injured patients were already outside the emergency room. We needed to quickly identify who needed to be attended first,” recalls Dr. Muhammad Zaher, who is working with Doctors Without Borders as assistant medical focal person in Timergara, in the Lower Dir district of northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.
Mental health services are scarce in Pakistan, and Lower Dir is no exception. There are very few psychologists for the district’s estimated population of 1.2 million people. Indeed, the MSF team in Lower Dir knows of only one.

In response to this situation, MSF started providing mental health counseling and psychosocial support in the hospital in February 2012.

The mental health team is made up of both male and female staff. They provide individual and group counseling to patients referred from the mother-and-child health department, the emergency department, and the post-operative wards.
Photo: An MSF staff member and a young patient in the triage area of the DHQ hospital in Timergara
Pakistan 2012 © P.K. Lee/MSF

Introducing a New Concept: Mental Health Support in Northwestern Pakistan

“I still remember there was a big bomb blast in April 2010, about 300 meters [about 984 feet] away from our hospital. Within a few minutes, dozens of injured patients were already outside the emergency room. We needed to quickly identify who needed to be attended first,” recalls Dr. Muhammad Zaher, who is working with Doctors Without Borders as assistant medical focal person in Timergara, in the Lower Dir district of northwestern Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province.

Mental health services are scarce in Pakistan, and Lower Dir is no exception. There are very few psychologists for the district’s estimated population of 1.2 million people. Indeed, the MSF team in Lower Dir knows of only one.

In response to this situation, MSF started providing mental health counseling and psychosocial support in the hospital in February 2012.

The mental health team is made up of both male and female staff. They provide individual and group counseling to patients referred from the mother-and-child health department, the emergency department, and the post-operative wards.

Photo: An MSF staff member and a young patient in the triage area of the DHQ hospital in Timergara
Pakistan 2012 © P.K. Lee/MSF