Posts tagged alert

ALERT | HOW MSF WORKSQuestions answered, explored, and raised
In this issue, MSF staff answer fundamental questions about our operations - from how we recruit staff, respond to emergencies and deliver supplies, to how we close projects and share our medical findings with the global health

ALERT | HOW MSF WORKS
Questions answered, explored, and raised

In this issue, MSF staff answer fundamental questions about our operations - from how we recruit staff, respond to emergencies and deliver supplies, to how we close projects and share our medical findings with the global health

I learned a lot about closing a project in Liberia. It’s always difficult, but it’s important to maintain the capability to be the first responders in conflict zones and not have our resources tied up providing primary care. You get attached to the staff , you get attached to the patients, but it’s important that MSF is able to maintain the capacity to do what we do.
Forced to leave her project in Liberia unexpectedly, MSF mental health officer Athena Viscusi reflects on what it’s like to close a MSF project.
Photo: Team members prep medicines for delivery-by-motorbike in DRC’s Orientale Province.DRC 2012 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF
Alert | How Does MSF Advocate for its Work and Patients?
MSF’s operational advocacy occurs both in and out the field. On the ground, it might mean a project coordinator meeting with the military commander of an area to explain what MSF is, what we do, and why we do it. MSF works under the premise that there is no guaranteed “humanitarian space” for our programs, so we must constantly advocate for the various sides in a conflict or various officials and members of government to respect the neutrality of our medical structures and our medical work. Humanitarian space, after all, involves not only a physical space in which to deploy humanitarian assistance, but also the room to make independent assessments of the needs and to access patients who need assistance.
Away from the field, our advocacy takes place in capital cities, halls of government, and with other organizations or international institutions. MSF has advocacy positions in several headquarter offices around the world staff ed by people who relay MSF’s field needs, priorities, and experiences to international and regional actors. In addition, we advocate for neglected patients, for more effective delivery of humanitarian aid, and for specific needs we see in the field. 

Photo: Team members prep medicines for delivery-by-motorbike in DRC’s Orientale Province.DRC 2012 © Aurelie Lachant/MSF

Alert | How Does MSF Advocate for its Work and Patients?

MSF’s operational advocacy occurs both in and out the field. On the ground, it might mean a project coordinator meeting with the military commander of an area to explain what MSF is, what we do, and why we do it. MSF works under the premise that there is no guaranteed “humanitarian space” for our programs, so we must constantly advocate for the various sides in a conflict or various officials and members of government to respect the neutrality of our medical structures and our medical work. Humanitarian space, after all, involves not only a physical space in which to deploy humanitarian assistance, but also the room to make independent assessments of the needs and to access patients who need assistance.

Away from the field, our advocacy takes place in capital cities, halls of government, and with other organizations or international institutions. MSF has advocacy positions in several headquarter offices around the world staff ed by people who relay MSF’s field needs, priorities, and experiences to international and regional actors. In addition, we advocate for neglected patients, for more effective delivery of humanitarian aid, and for specific needs we see in the field. 

 How Important Are National Staff?
Kate Mort is an MSF-USA Field Human Resources Officer.
National staff is crucial to every MSF project; they are at the core of everything we do. National staff makes up around 90 percent of all MSF field workers, so they do most of the nuts-and-bolts work that keeps our projects running.
Generalizing is hard, because every situation is different. For example, South Sudan is a very challenging place to find people with the necessary training and expertise. I’ve worked in South Sudan a few times, most recently in 2012. The population has had very limited access to education because of decades of war. There simply aren’t many medically qualified people. In many projects in South Sudan, we train the staff ourselves— which also means we have to send more international staff to work in those projects.
With staffing, it’s all about context. And the individual. When I was in South Sudan in 2004, there was an enormously enthusiastic, motivated, and intelligent guy who started as a cleaner. Over the years, he was promoted to working in the pharmacy, working on pharmacy management, working with dispensing medication and patient care. Eventually, he became a medical officer.

How Important Are National Staff?

Kate Mort is an MSF-USA Field Human Resources Officer.

National staff is crucial to every MSF project; they are at the core of everything we do. National staff makes up around 90 percent of all MSF field workers, so they do most of the nuts-and-bolts work that keeps our projects running.

Generalizing is hard, because every situation is different. For example, South Sudan is a very challenging place to find people with the necessary training and expertise. I’ve worked in South Sudan a few times, most recently in 2012. The population has had very limited access to education because of decades of war. There simply aren’t many medically qualified people. In many projects in South Sudan, we train the staff ourselves— which also means we have to send more international staff to work in those projects.

With staffing, it’s all about context. And the individual. When I was in South Sudan in 2004, there was an enormously enthusiastic, motivated, and intelligent guy who started as a cleaner. Over the years, he was promoted to working in the pharmacy, working on pharmacy management, working with dispensing medication and patient care. Eventually, he became a medical officer.

How Does it Feel to Lose a Patient?
Dr. Lucy Doyle has worked with MSF in DRC and the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya.
Most patients’ deaths are anticipated by their physician. The doctor may observe a constellation of findings leading to a particular lethal diagnosis, and the physician prepares the patient as well as him or herself for this impending loss. This is similar in the field and at home, though in the field it hurts more to watch someone die of something that might have been treated easily here in the US.

How Does it Feel to Lose a Patient?

Dr. Lucy Doyle has worked with MSF in DRC and the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya.

Most patients’ deaths are anticipated by their physician. The doctor may observe a constellation of findings leading to a particular lethal diagnosis, and the physician prepares the patient as well as him or herself for this impending loss. This is similar in the field and at home, though in the field it hurts more to watch someone die of something that might have been treated easily here in the US.

ALERT: Fall 2012
The latest issue of our Alert newsletter highlights the devastating crises in South Sudan and Syria, conflict-related emergencies that are causing mass casualties and extensive displacement. In both places, our medical teams are doing as much as they can to ease suffering and save lives.

ALERT: Fall 2012

The latest issue of our Alert newsletter highlights the devastating crises in South Sudan and Syria, conflict-related emergencies that are causing mass casualties and extensive displacement. In both places, our medical teams are doing as much as they can to ease suffering and save lives.