Posts tagged art

Illustration: This is in Bandra again, in a slum. This is a drug-resistant TB patient with HIV as well. He was happy to have us there and let us draw him and talk to him, and the stigma wasn’t an issue for him. This is really a description of the outside of the house where he lives with his mum and his other brother. She’s raised six children here; he sleeps outside as a sort of precaution, she sleeps inside, and this is his bed which is covered up by bits of plastic bags and propped up by pillars and corrugated iron. It gives you an idea of the sort of places that [MSF’s patients] are living in, and living in when they’ve got this horrible disease. India 2013 © George Butler
MSF’s HIV/TB Project in Mumbai
MSF invited illustrator George Butler to visit our HIV and MDR-TB project in Mumbai, India to capture our activities there. He returned with images and stories of families affected by multidrug-resistant TB, their care givers, and the MSF team responsible for their treatment.

Illustration: This is in Bandra again, in a slum. This is a drug-resistant TB patient with HIV as well. He was happy to have us there and let us draw him and talk to him, and the stigma wasn’t an issue for him. This is really a description of the outside of the house where he lives with his mum and his other brother. She’s raised six children here; he sleeps outside as a sort of precaution, she sleeps inside, and this is his bed which is covered up by bits of plastic bags and propped up by pillars and corrugated iron. It gives you an idea of the sort of places that [MSF’s patients] are living in, and living in when they’ve got this horrible disease. India 2013 © George Butler

MSF’s HIV/TB Project in Mumbai

MSF invited illustrator George Butler to visit our HIV and MDR-TB project in Mumbai, India to capture our activities there. He returned with images and stories of families affected by multidrug-resistant TB, their care givers, and the MSF team responsible for their treatment.

Illustration: India 2013 © George Butler
MSF’s HIV/TB Project in Mumbai
MSF invited illustrator George Butler to visit our HIV and MDR-TB project in Mumbai, India to capture our activities there. He returned with images and stories of families affected by multidrug-resistant TB, their care givers, and the MSF team responsible for their treatment.

Illustration: India 2013 © George Butler

MSF’s HIV/TB Project in Mumbai

MSF invited illustrator George Butler to visit our HIV and MDR-TB project in Mumbai, India to capture our activities there. He returned with images and stories of families affected by multidrug-resistant TB, their care givers, and the MSF team responsible for their treatment.

Test Me, Treat Me: A Drug-Resistant TB Manifesto
We, the people infected with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), live in every part of the world. Most of us were exposed and became infected with DR-TB because of the poor conditions in which we live. Undiagnosed, this disease spreads among us. Untreated, this disease kills. But in the countries in which we live, fast and accurate diagnosis is rarely available, and only about one in five of us actually get effective DR-TB treatment. 
Those of us “lucky” enough to receive treatment have to go through an excruciating two-year journey where we must swallow up to 20 pills a day and receive a painful injection every day for the first 8 months, making it hard to sit or even lie down. For many of us, the treatment makes us feel sicker than the disease itself, as it causes nausea, body aches, and rashes. The drugs make many of us go deaf permanently, and some of us develop psychosis.

Test Me, Treat Me: A Drug-Resistant TB Manifesto

We, the people infected with drug-resistant TB (DR-TB), live in every part of the world. Most of us were exposed and became infected with DR-TB because of the poor conditions in which we live. Undiagnosed, this disease spreads among us. Untreated, this disease kills. But in the countries in which we live, fast and accurate diagnosis is rarely available, and only about one in five of us actually get effective DR-TB treatment.

Those of us “lucky” enough to receive treatment have to go through an excruciating two-year journey where we must swallow up to 20 pills a day and receive a painful injection every day for the first 8 months, making it hard to sit or even lie down. For many of us, the treatment makes us feel sicker than the disease itself, as it causes nausea, body aches, and rashes. The drugs make many of us go deaf permanently, and some of us develop psychosis.

Chagas: Silent Killer
Vaccines: The Price of Protecting a Child from Killer Diseases
"Adding new vaccines to the national immunization program is like taking out multiple mortgages."—Ministry of Health Official, Kenya
Each year, the lives of two and a half million children are saved because they are protected against killer diseases through vaccination. Vaccinating with new vaccines should save many more lives, but high prices could prevent this from happening.

Vaccines: The Price of Protecting a Child from Killer Diseases

"Adding new vaccines to the national immunization program is like taking out multiple mortgages."—Ministry of Health Official, Kenya

Each year, the lives of two and a half million children are saved because they are protected against killer diseases through vaccination. Vaccinating with new vaccines should save many more lives, but high prices could prevent this from happening.

Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and BurundiEnsuring pregnant women have timely access to emergency obstetric care has reduced maternal deaths by as much as 74 percent in parts of two African countries 
The comprehensive emergency obstetric services at MSF hospitals in Bo and Kabezi is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All services are free of charge. The total annual operating costs of the programs are equivalent to just under two dollars per person in Bo and $4.15 per person in Kabezi.
MSF’s data indicate that maternal mortality in Burundi’s Kabezi district has fallen to 208 per 100,000 live births, compared to a national average of 800 per 100,000 live births, a 74 percent decrease. In Sierra Leone, MSF figures for the same year indicate that maternal mortality in Bo district has decreased to 351 per 100,000 live births, compared to 890 per 100,000 in the rest of the country, a 61 percent reduction. MSF is the only emergency obstetric care provider in Kabezi and Bo.
Sierra Leone and Burundi both suffer from extremely high maternal mortality rates due to lack of access to quality antenatal and obstetric care, which are linked to shortages of qualified health staff, a lack of medical facilities, and health systems that have been shattered by years of civil war.
“Giving birth in Sierra Leone is often a life-threatening endeavor for many women,” said Betty Raney, an obstetrician with MSF in Sierra Leone. “In my 25 years as an obstetrician, I have never seen such a level of severity among the patients. Had they not had any access to care, many of them would die.”
Using the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015 as a point of reference, MSF’s estimates indicate that the maternal mortality ratio in Kabezi is already below the MDG level. MSF is confident that the mortality ratio will have dropped by 75 percent in Bo by 2015.

Safe Delivery: Reducing maternal mortality in Sierra Leone and Burundi
Ensuring pregnant women have timely access to emergency obstetric care has reduced maternal deaths by as much as 74 percent in parts of two African countries 

The comprehensive emergency obstetric services at MSF hospitals in Bo and Kabezi is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All services are free of charge. The total annual operating costs of the programs are equivalent to just under two dollars per person in Bo and $4.15 per person in Kabezi.

MSF’s data indicate that maternal mortality in Burundi’s Kabezi district has fallen to 208 per 100,000 live births, compared to a national average of 800 per 100,000 live births, a 74 percent decrease. In Sierra Leone, MSF figures for the same year indicate that maternal mortality in Bo district has decreased to 351 per 100,000 live births, compared to 890 per 100,000 in the rest of the country, a 61 percent reduction. MSF is the only emergency obstetric care provider in Kabezi and Bo.

Sierra Leone and Burundi both suffer from extremely high maternal mortality rates due to lack of access to quality antenatal and obstetric care, which are linked to shortages of qualified health staff, a lack of medical facilities, and health systems that have been shattered by years of civil war.

“Giving birth in Sierra Leone is often a life-threatening endeavor for many women,” said Betty Raney, an obstetrician with MSF in Sierra Leone. “In my 25 years as an obstetrician, I have never seen such a level of severity among the patients. Had they not had any access to care, many of them would die.”

Using the United Nations Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of reducing maternal mortality by 75 percent by 2015 as a point of reference, MSF’s estimates indicate that the maternal mortality ratio in Kabezi is already below the MDG level. MSF is confident that the mortality ratio will have dropped by 75 percent in Bo by 2015.

Photo: Blood is drawn for an HIV test at the MSF Dipping Tank community testing campaign at Nhletsheni, in Shiselweleni region. Swaziland 2012 © Giorgos Moutafis
Trying Out New Approaches to HIV Treatment
Thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic and more than a decade since the introduction of antiretroviral treatment (ART) in developing countries, the latest scientific evidence shows that the treatment keeps people healthy and prevents the virus from spreading. MSF is now treating more than 222,000 people for HIV/AIDS in 23 countries and introducing new approaches to treatment including earlier provision of ART to pregnant women living with HIV, expanded testing and treatment programs, and using improving technological monitoring techniques to track patient progress. Here, Micaela Serafini, MSF medical referent, discusses MSF’s efforts to treat HIV/AIDS in Swaziland.
Why is it important to provide antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV while their immune system is still strong?
Today, we measure the level of an HIV-positive person’s white blood cells [CD4 cells] to determine when to start them on treatment, because this is an indicator of how strong their immune system is. Right now, the World Health Organization recommends starting people on ART when their CD4 cell count drops to 350 cells per mm3 of blood, but asks countries to consider earlier ART for pregnant women and HIV-positive partners in couples where one person is HIV-positive and the other is not, or “sero-discordant” couples. A healthy person’s CD4 count ranges from 800 to 1,200 cells per mm3—the lower the count, the more prone a person is to becoming ill from opportunistic infections like tuberculosis.
In Swaziland, MSF is studying the feasibility and acceptance of the “Test and Treat” (T&T) model, the most radical option of Treatment as Prevention (TasP). It involves providing all HIV-positive people with treatment, regardless of their CD4 count. This approach would allow us to have a maximum impact on reducing illness, as well as transmission of HIV in the community.
We are currently paving the way for TasP in Swaziland with the implementation of a greatly improved treatment protocol for pregnant women in order to better prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, or PMTCT, and help keep mothers healthy. The protocol is referred to as “Option B+.” In a nutshell, PMTCT Option B+ is T&T for pregnant women—we aim to start all HIV-positive pregnant women on life-long treatment, regardless of their CD4 count.
This new pilot project is just starting in the south of the country, in the Shiselweni region, which has a population of 208,000 people. We hope to start PMTCT B+ this month and from there put 3,000 pregnant women on ARV treatment every year. In 2013, we will expand this approach to other vulnerable groups and eventually to all HIV-positive adults in the region.

Photo: Blood is drawn for an HIV test at the MSF Dipping Tank community testing campaign at Nhletsheni, in Shiselweleni region. Swaziland 2012 © Giorgos Moutafis

Trying Out New Approaches to HIV Treatment


Thirty years into the HIV/AIDS epidemic and more than a decade since the introduction of antiretroviral treatment (ART) in developing countries, the latest scientific evidence shows that the treatment keeps people healthy and prevents the virus from spreading. MSF is now treating more than 222,000 people for HIV/AIDS in 23 countries and introducing new approaches to treatment including earlier provision of ART to pregnant women living with HIV, expanded testing and treatment programs, and using improving technological monitoring techniques to track patient progress. Here, Micaela Serafini, MSF medical referent, discusses MSF’s efforts to treat HIV/AIDS in Swaziland.

Why is it important to provide antiretroviral treatment to people living with HIV while their immune system is still strong?

Today, we measure the level of an HIV-positive person’s white blood cells [CD4 cells] to determine when to start them on treatment, because this is an indicator of how strong their immune system is. Right now, the World Health Organization recommends starting people on ART when their CD4 cell count drops to 350 cells per mm3 of blood, but asks countries to consider earlier ART for pregnant women and HIV-positive partners in couples where one person is HIV-positive and the other is not, or “sero-discordant” couples. A healthy person’s CD4 count ranges from 800 to 1,200 cells per mm3—the lower the count, the more prone a person is to becoming ill from opportunistic infections like tuberculosis.

In Swaziland, MSF is studying the feasibility and acceptance of the “Test and Treat” (T&T) model, the most radical option of Treatment as Prevention (TasP). It involves providing all HIV-positive people with treatment, regardless of their CD4 count. This approach would allow us to have a maximum impact on reducing illness, as well as transmission of HIV in the community.

We are currently paving the way for TasP in Swaziland with the implementation of a greatly improved treatment protocol for pregnant women in order to better prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, or PMTCT, and help keep mothers healthy. The protocol is referred to as “Option B+.” In a nutshell, PMTCT Option B+ is T&T for pregnant women—we aim to start all HIV-positive pregnant women on life-long treatment, regardless of their CD4 count.

This new pilot project is just starting in the south of the country, in the Shiselweni region, which has a population of 208,000 people. We hope to start PMTCT B+ this month and from there put 3,000 pregnant women on ARV treatment every year. In 2013, we will expand this approach to other vulnerable groups and eventually to all HIV-positive adults in the region.

How MSF Works: Delivering Aid
MSF-Logistique is as a nonprofit humanitarian purchasing and distribution center. It is a licensed pharmaceutical institution, meaning we have permission from the French authorities to operate a business that deals with drugs. That’s why we have four pharmacists on staff. We are also licensed to hold materials in customs. All of our supplies are officially in transit because nothing in our warehouse is destined for use in Europe. With this status we avoid customs taxes, can store products for as long as needed, and can ship to the field right away, without worrying about clearing customs.

How MSF Works: Delivering Aid

MSF-Logistique is as a nonprofit humanitarian purchasing and distribution center. It is a licensed pharmaceutical institution, meaning we have permission from the French authorities to operate a business that deals with drugs. That’s why we have four pharmacists on staff. We are also licensed to hold materials in customs. All of our supplies are officially in transit because nothing in our warehouse is destined for use in Europe. With this status we avoid customs taxes, can store products for as long as needed, and can ship to the field right away, without worrying about clearing customs.

MSF Field Report: Decreasing Child Mortality in South Sudan
Patients I’ll Never Forget 


While working in Batil Refugee camp setting up an inpatient therapeutic feeding center, Dr. Jacoby met several patients that she’ll never forget. One of her first patients was a young boy with multiple bee stings to his head. He was in good humor and basically ok, but was starving for food to eat. When food was scarce, young boys, like “Bee Boy,” would climb trees to get honey from beehives for their families to eat.

Another one of her patients, Aziza, was severely malnourished and almost died multiple times a day for the first week. She would go into shock, because she was suffering from lots of infections that were difficult to treat. “We had to be really careful with Aziza, because malnourished kids lose so much muscle, and a lot of the muscle they lose is in their heart. If you give them too much fluid, they go into heart failure. So we sat with Aziza and we gave her small amounts of fluid, and then we’d recheck her heart rate every 15-20 minutes,” says Dr. Jacoby.

By the end of Dr. Jacoby’s stay in the Batil camp, Aziza was sitting up and even smiling a little bit. She would only cry when she was hungry. A couple of weeks later, Aziza finally went home.

MSF Field Report: Decreasing Child Mortality in South Sudan 
A Crazy First Day


On Dr. Jacoby’s first day in Batil refugee camp, she didn’t even make it into the section of the clinic that constituted the therapeutic feeding center. There were so many people in need of immediate care, so she immediately began to help out the nurse that ran the outpatient department.

"There were far more sick people in Batil than you ever expect to see in one place. They were incredibly fragile, and throughout the camp there was just a massive amount of medical needs— respiratory infections, diarrhea, severe dehydration, malnutrition, and malari," recounts Dr. Jacoby on her ‘crazy first day.’

Photo: Children draw as part of MSF’s mental health activities in Doro Camp. South Sudan 2012 © Christina Jo Larsen/MSF
Tending to “Invisible Wounds” Among Sudanese Refugees in South Sudan
Refugees escaping from violence are put through a tremendous amount of stress. Not only are there physical stressors to overcome, but there are mental and emotional stressors that are sometimes hidden behind a resilient spirit. This stress brings with it additional challenges for individuals and families already stretched to their limits. Among the Sudanese refugees who fled conflict and bombardments in their villages and are now seeking sanctuary inSouth Sudan, MSF teams are seeing a great deal of depression, anxiety, fear, and physical ailments with no clear origins. In Upper Nile State’s Maban County, where upwards of 100,000 refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile State are living in a network of camps, MSF therefore augments its medical activities with psychosocial care.
The stress manifests in many different ways, and part of MSF’s aim is to help people find ways to express it. One day not long ago, a girl around 14 years old wearing a threadbare nightgown sat quietly among a group of smiling and shouting children, staring down at a piece of paper. She had been asked to draw the thing that she fears most, and despite the noise around her, she was focused entirely on the exercise.
MSF psychologist Julia Stempel leaned over to see what the girl was drawing. A picture of a large airplane covered most of the paper.
“The children are asked to draw what frightens them the most, and almost everyone draws an airplane,” Stempel said. “They say it’s the airplanes that forced them to flee.”

Photo: Children draw as part of MSF’s mental health activities in Doro Camp. South Sudan 2012 © Christina Jo Larsen/MSF

Tending to “Invisible Wounds” Among Sudanese Refugees in South Sudan

Refugees escaping from violence are put through a tremendous amount of stress. Not only are there physical stressors to overcome, but there are mental and emotional stressors that are sometimes hidden behind a resilient spirit. This stress brings with it additional challenges for individuals and families already stretched to their limits. Among the Sudanese refugees who fled conflict and bombardments in their villages and are now seeking sanctuary inSouth Sudan, MSF teams are seeing a great deal of depression, anxiety, fear, and physical ailments with no clear origins. In Upper Nile State’s Maban County, where upwards of 100,000 refugees from Sudan’s Blue Nile State are living in a network of camps, MSF therefore augments its medical activities with psychosocial care.

The stress manifests in many different ways, and part of MSF’s aim is to help people find ways to express it. One day not long ago, a girl around 14 years old wearing a threadbare nightgown sat quietly among a group of smiling and shouting children, staring down at a piece of paper. She had been asked to draw the thing that she fears most, and despite the noise around her, she was focused entirely on the exercise.

MSF psychologist Julia Stempel leaned over to see what the girl was drawing. A picture of a large airplane covered most of the paper.

“The children are asked to draw what frightens them the most, and almost everyone draws an airplane,” Stempel said. “They say it’s the airplanes that forced them to flee.”

Art and culture transcend many barriers, and bring relief in times of hardship. Here’s a glimpse into the lives of people we provide humanitarian aid in. See more photo finalists from our international MSF.TV Cultural Photography Competition

The Photographer is a graphic novel documenting our clandestine cross-border operation in Afghanistan to assist those stranded without medical care in areas hardest-hit after the Soviet invasion in 1979.

Find this and more books about our work here.

The Photographer is a graphic novel documenting our clandestine cross-border operation in Afghanistan to assist those stranded without medical care in areas hardest-hit after the Soviet invasion in 1979.


Find this and more books about our work here.

Reblog to help us raise awareness of the plight of Sudanese refugees living in appalling conditions in camps in South Sudan. They are falling ill and dying at rates alarmingly above accepted international standards for emergencies. 

Join us next week for a live webcast discussion on the refugee crisis in South Sudan, featuring recently returned emergency field staff. Wednesday, August 29, 8p ET. Register here.

Reblog to help us raise awareness of the plight of Sudanese refugees living in appalling conditions in camps in South Sudan. They are falling ill and dying at rates alarmingly above accepted international standards for emergencies.

Join us next week for a live webcast discussion on the refugee crisis in South Sudan, featuring recently returned emergency field staff. Wednesday, August 29, 8p ET. Register here.

The Need For Urgent HIV and TB Treatment in Myanmar. 


Tens of thousands of people living with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in Myanmar are unable to access lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART), a dire situation exacerbated by the recent cancellation of a new round of funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

“Lives in the Balance,” a report from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), outlines the situation for people affected by HIV and tuberculosis (TB), with a special focus on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in Myanmar today. It calls for urgent funding and assistance to be made available by the international donor community to help Myanmar close the devastating gap between people’s need and people’s access to treatment for HIV and TB.
Infographic by Will Owen

The Need For Urgent HIV and TB Treatment in Myanmar.

Tens of thousands of people living with HIV and tuberculosis (TB) in Myanmar are unable to access lifesaving antiretroviral therapy (ART), a dire situation exacerbated by the recent cancellation of a new round of funding from the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

Lives in the Balance,” a report from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), outlines the situation for people affected by HIV and tuberculosis (TB), with a special focus on multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in Myanmar today. It calls for urgent funding and assistance to be made available by the international donor community to help Myanmar close the devastating gap between people’s need and people’s access to treatment for HIV and TB.

Infographic by Will Owen