Posts tagged healthcare

Photo: Destroyed medical supplies litter the ground outside the MSF hospital in Pibor. South Sudan 2013 © Vikki Stienen/MSF
South Sudan: MSF Hospital Severely Damaged in Intentional Attack
MSF strongly condemns the deliberate damage and looting of its hospital in Pibor town, in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, which has left tens of thousands of people without access to essential medical care.
The hospital’s infrastructure was systematically damaged May 11–12 in order to render it unusable without major repairs. Therapeutic medical food and hospital beds were looted. The MSF structure is the only hospital facility for Pibor County, with the nearest alternative more than 90 miles away. The hospital’s closure leaves roughly 100,000 people cut off from health care. Many of them have fled to the bush amid conflict between the South Sudan Army (SPLA) and the David YauYau armed militia group.
"A special effort was made to destroy drug supplies by strewing them on the ground, to cut and slash the warehouse tents, to ransack the hospital wards, and even to cut electricity cables and rip them from the walls," said Richard Veerman, MSF operations coordinator for South Sudan.

Photo: Destroyed medical supplies litter the ground outside the MSF hospital in Pibor. South Sudan 2013 © Vikki Stienen/MSF

South Sudan: MSF Hospital Severely Damaged in Intentional Attack

MSF strongly condemns the deliberate damage and looting of its hospital in Pibor town, in South Sudan’s Jonglei State, which has left tens of thousands of people without access to essential medical care.

The hospital’s infrastructure was systematically damaged May 11–12 in order to render it unusable without major repairs. Therapeutic medical food and hospital beds were looted. The MSF structure is the only hospital facility for Pibor County, with the nearest alternative more than 90 miles away. The hospital’s closure leaves roughly 100,000 people cut off from health care. Many of them have fled to the bush amid conflict between the South Sudan Army (SPLA) and the David YauYau armed militia group.

"A special effort was made to destroy drug supplies by strewing them on the ground, to cut and slash the warehouse tents, to ransack the hospital wards, and even to cut electricity cables and rip them from the walls," said Richard Veerman, MSF operations coordinator for South Sudan.

Photo: MSF is providing humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Domeez camp through general health and mental health care and immunization. Iraq 2013 © Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF
Iraq: Syrian Refugees’ Health Deteriorates at Domeez Camp
Overcrowding and poor living conditions in Iraq’s Domeez camp have led to a recent deterioration in the health of Syrian refugees. Stéphane Reynier, emergency coordinator for MSF, describes the current situation in the camp:
The health system in Syria has collapsed, and the war has left a section of the population with no access to health care. For the past two years, because of the conflict, children have not received their routine vaccinations.

Photo: MSF is providing humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees in Domeez camp through general health and mental health care and immunization. Iraq 2013 © Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF

Iraq: Syrian Refugees’ Health Deteriorates at Domeez Camp

Overcrowding and poor living conditions in Iraq’s Domeez camp have led to a recent deterioration in the health of Syrian refugees. Stéphane Reynier, emergency coordinator for MSF, describes the current situation in the camp:

The health system in Syria has collapsed, and the war has left a section of the population with no access to health care. For the past two years, because of the conflict, children have not received their routine vaccinations.

Usually we receive no warning of the imminent arrival of bomb blast victims. They normally arrive in a cloud of panic; chaotic screaming ensues and staff members run to man their posts. This time we are prepared. From the time of the phone call it should be twenty minutes before they arrive, not much time to ready the Emergency Room but I am surprised at how much gets done. We clear the resuscitation room and triage area, we prepare IV bags and bandages and then we prepare a queue of stretchers outside.
MSF doctor Stefan writes from Kunduz, Afghanistan, on treating people injured by IEDs and traffic accidents. Please leave your questions and comments for Stefan below his blog post.  
2am “Oncall, oncall for ICU – we have one child yes, they are convulsions…” I jolt into wakefulness and am out of my bed and running over to the hospital as fast as I can go telling the nurses to prepare IV diazepam down the radio as I go. This could be anything, but always think worst case scenario… I arrive on the ward and yes, this is actual convulsions, a four-year-old with cerebral malaria.
MSF nurse Emma writes about the of variety people she treats when on-call in South Sudan. Please leave your comments for Emma on her blog. 

A Young Syrian Woman Shot By a Sniper Gets Assistance as a Refugee

Salwah, 18 years old, was shot by a sniper in Aleppo, and now she cannot walk. After seeking treatment in several hospitals in Syria, she became a refugee in Turkey where she is now receiving assistance. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing her with mental health care. Photographs by Anna Surinyach.

Photo: A little girl waits against the gates of the camp registration center in Domeez. Iraq 2013 © Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF
Providing Care in Syria and in Neighboring Countries: An Overview of MSF programs in and around Syria
The conflict in Syria remains extremely intense. Frontlines continue to shift. The medical system is in shambles. An estimated 6.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, but whole enclaves are cut off from assistance of any kind.
Despite the very real challenges of operating in the country, MSF is now running four hospitals inside Syria and is increasing mobile clinic activities to the extent possible. Simultaneously, the organization is actively seeking to open new projects where it is safe to do so.
And, it should be noted, MSF is using only private donations for its work in Syria in order to remain entirely independent of all political positioning around the crisis.
MSF is also working in the neighboring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, where some 1.4 million Syrians have fled in search of sanctuary. These countries have been overwhelmed by the influx of refugees and returnees, and the humanitarian response has thus far been unable to meet their needs.

Photo: A little girl waits against the gates of the camp registration center in Domeez. Iraq 2013 © Pierre-Yves Bernard/MSF

Providing Care in Syria and in Neighboring Countries: An Overview of MSF programs in and around Syria

The conflict in Syria remains extremely intense. Frontlines continue to shift. The medical system is in shambles. An estimated 6.8 million people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid, but whole enclaves are cut off from assistance of any kind.

Despite the very real challenges of operating in the country, MSF is now running four hospitals inside Syria and is increasing mobile clinic activities to the extent possible. Simultaneously, the organization is actively seeking to open new projects where it is safe to do so.

And, it should be noted, MSF is using only private donations for its work in Syria in order to remain entirely independent of all political positioning around the crisis.

MSF is also working in the neighboring countries of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey, where some 1.4 million Syrians have fled in search of sanctuary. These countries have been overwhelmed by the influx of refugees and returnees, and the humanitarian response has thus far been unable to meet their needs.

Syria: Behind the Lines

After two years of conflict, people in Syria are living through a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been able to open three hospitals in the north of the country. Medical teams provide emergency and surgical care, as well as primary health care consultations and maternal care. MSF teams have performed more than 1,300 surgical operations and provided 16,000 consultations inside Syria.

Syria Two Years On: The Failure of International Aid So Far
Since the first protests broke out in Syria in March 2011, the country has spiralled into all-out war. After two years of an extremely violent conflict which has resulted in more than 70,000 dead according to the United Nations, the Syrian people are faced with a humanitarian catastrophe. 
Read this report to learn more about how conflict has put the healthcare system in jeopardy. Despite repeated requests, MSF has not received permission from the government to work in the country, but has been able to open three hospitals in the opposition-held areas in the north where assistance remains well below the level of the needs.

Syria Two Years On: The Failure of International Aid So Far

Since the first protests broke out in Syria in March 2011, the country has spiralled into all-out war. After two years of an extremely violent conflict which has resulted in more than 70,000 dead according to the United Nations, the Syrian people are faced with a humanitarian catastrophe. 

Read this report to learn more about how conflict has put the healthcare system in jeopardy. Despite repeated requests, MSF has not received permission from the government to work in the country, but has been able to open three hospitals in the opposition-held areas in the north where assistance remains well below the level of the needs.

Photo: Women wait in MSF’s mobile clinic to register their names to see a doctor in Northern Syria. Syria 2013 © Nicole Tung
Syria Two Years On: The Failure of International Aid
After two years of an extremely violent conflict that the UN estimates has killed more than 70,000, the people of Syria are mired in a humanitarian catastrophe.
Despite repeated requests, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has not received permission from the Syrian government in Damascus to work in the country. But MSF has been able to open three hospitals in opposition-held areas in the north, where assistance remains well below the level of the needs.

Photo: Women wait in MSF’s mobile clinic to register their names to see a doctor in Northern Syria. Syria 2013 © Nicole Tung

Syria Two Years On: The Failure of International Aid

After two years of an extremely violent conflict that the UN estimates has killed more than 70,000, the people of Syria are mired in a humanitarian catastrophe.

Despite repeated requests, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has not received permission from the Syrian government in Damascus to work in the country. But MSF has been able to open three hospitals in opposition-held areas in the north, where assistance remains well below the level of the needs.

Somehow they all made it through the night. And so did I. Albeit tense, tired and slightly tearful.
After an eight-year-old girl has a seizure, Emma questions a world in which the country you are born in to can determine the healthcare you are provided. Please leave your questions and comment for Emma in the comments box below her blog post
On Thursday, we held a sort of clinic in the Ninenyang Health Centre as they are out of drugs and have a malaria crisis. It was a really hard day. The weather’s been heating up again and it was over 40°C in the shade. When people heard we were there they literally came running, babies in arms!
MSF nurse, Kate, and team are having a tough time in Mattar, Ethiopia, but are determined to provide healthcare where they can. Please leave your questions and comments for Kate in the comments below her blog post.
On the day of the attack, many people were killed and others were wounded. They set tukuls (huts) on fire and threw children in the fire. I collected the children to run away but, because I am old, I cannot run fast and they killed the children that were with me. I was running with three children; two were killed and one was wounded. As the attackers came, they hit me with the end of the Kalashnikov and stabbed me in the head and they tried to kill the children. If the child can run, they will shoot them with the gun; if they are small and cannot run, they will kill them with a knife. The baby that survived was beaten to the head. They picked her up and threw her on her head, so she has head trauma. She is better now.

55-year-old female patient from Wek (Uror county), treated in Nasir (Upper Nile state), March 2012

Ongoing violence in South Sudan’s  Jonglei state   has had a devastating impact on tens of thousands of people, with many forcibly displaced and further cut off from health care due to the destruction of medical facilities.  A new MSF report contains harrowing accounts of civilians caught up in attacks on villages.

Ever wonder how doctors get involved with MSF? And what their experience is like working in the field? Take a look into one of our doctor’s journey, and see what called her into action.

MSF Field Report: Decreasing Child Mortality in South Sudan
"Can you go to South Sudan?"

This would be Dr. Lynn Jacoby’s third assignment with Doctors Without Borders. After hearing about the widespread malnutrition in the Batil Camp, she knew she had to help. With her specialty in pediatrics, Dr. Jacoby opened an inpatient therapeutic feeding center to help decrease child mortality. 

Stay tuned for more on Dr. Jacoby’s experience in South Sudan. Next, we will share about her “crazy first day.” 

Photo: A child at MSF’s intensive feeding center in Guidam Roumdji, Maradi region. Niger 2011 © Alessandra Vilas Boas
Rotavirus Research Results Show Need to Tailor Vaccines to Improve Their Impact
Cape Town/Geneva/New York, November 8, 2012- Research presented today by Epicentre, the epidemiological research arm of MSF and other African researchers, contributes to the growing body of evidence that the two existing rotavirus vaccines may not be best adapted for use in Africa.
“Vaccine developers have not taken into account the full rotavirus picture in places that are hardest hit by diarrheal illness and deaths caused by rotavirus,” said Dr. Anne-Laure Page, an epidemiologist at Epicentre. “This study adds to the growing body of research that underscores the need to ensure that vaccines are developed that effectively address the needs of developing countries.”
The two available rotavirus vaccines were developed and tested in industrialized countries, and have an efficacy rate of 90 percent against severe diarrhea in these countries, compared to an estimated 50-60 percent in countries in Africa and Asia. The current vaccines are also bulky and have a limited shelf life at room temperature, further making them unsuitable for developing countries that lack adequate refrigeration capacity.
“The fact that currently available vaccines are not easy to use in the places that are hardest to reach contributes to the fact that 22 million children born each year do not receive even the basic vaccination package,” said Elder.

Photo: A child at MSF’s intensive feeding center in Guidam Roumdji, Maradi region. Niger 2011 © Alessandra Vilas Boas

Rotavirus Research Results Show Need to Tailor Vaccines to Improve Their Impact

Cape Town/Geneva/New York, November 8, 2012- Research presented today by Epicentre, the epidemiological research arm of MSF and other African researchers, contributes to the growing body of evidence that the two existing rotavirus vaccines may not be best adapted for use in Africa.

“Vaccine developers have not taken into account the full rotavirus picture in places that are hardest hit by diarrheal illness and deaths caused by rotavirus,” said Dr. Anne-Laure Page, an epidemiologist at Epicentre. “This study adds to the growing body of research that underscores the need to ensure that vaccines are developed that effectively address the needs of developing countries.”

The two available rotavirus vaccines were developed and tested in industrialized countries, and have an efficacy rate of 90 percent against severe diarrhea in these countries, compared to an estimated 50-60 percent in countries in Africa and Asia. The current vaccines are also bulky and have a limited shelf life at room temperature, further making them unsuitable for developing countries that lack adequate refrigeration capacity.

“The fact that currently available vaccines are not easy to use in the places that are hardest to reach contributes to the fact that 22 million children born each year do not receive even the basic vaccination package,” said Elder.

Photo: South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki
Working in the field
A Doctors Without Borders field assignment is a commitment—of time and passion—to apply your skills to help men, women, and children whose lives hang in the balance. Our recruitment process is competitive because we are always looking for the best people to strengthen our collective expertise and increase the quality of medical care we deliver to our patients.
What it takes
To become an aid worker with Doctors Without Borders, applicants must meet the following general requirements:
Experience. At least two years of continuous relevant professional experience. 
Availability. Doctors should be available for a minimum of six months (Surgeons, anesthesiologists, operating room nurses, nurse anesthetists, and OB/GYNs may be accepted for shorter assignments), and all other professionals for nine to 12 months. 
Ability to Live and Work as a Team. With long hours and basic living conditions, aid workers need to be tolerant, flexible, and possess solid interpersonal skills. Experience in Resource-Poor Settings. Prior work experience in the developing world or extensive work in resource-poor North American settings is strongly desired. 
Ability to Manage Stress. With sizable workloads in or near conflict areas, aid workers must be able to cope in difficult and unpredictable situations. Flexibility. Situations can change quickly in the field, and job descriptions must change accordingly. 
Flexibility is critical to success on a project. 
Language skills. The ability to speak French, Portuguese, Spanish, or Arabic, as well as English, is highly valued, as are many other languages. 
Who is Needed
MedicalPhysicians, Obstetricians/Gynecologists, Surgeons, Anesthesiologists, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Operating Room Nurses, Nurse-Midwives, Epidemiologists, HIV/AIDS and TB Specialists, Pharmacists, Mental Health Specialists
Non-Medical Logisticians coordinate supplies, oversee transportation and communications equipment, and supervise national non-medical staff. Water and Sanitation Specialists and Construction Professionals provide clean water and housing to stem the spread of communicable diseases, give shelter to displaced people, and create hospital facilities. Administrators and Financial Controllers are responsible for project bookkeeping, budget control, financial reporting, and human resources.
Learn more.

Photo: South Sudan 2012 © Nichole Sobecki

Working in the field

A Doctors Without Borders field assignment is a commitment—of time and passion—to apply your skills to help men, women, and children whose lives hang in the balance. Our recruitment process is competitive because we are always looking for the best people to strengthen our collective expertise and increase the quality of medical care we deliver to our patients.

What it takes

To become an aid worker with Doctors Without Borders, applicants must meet the following general requirements:

  • Experience. At least two years of continuous relevant professional experience. 
  • Availability. Doctors should be available for a minimum of six months (Surgeons, anesthesiologists, operating room nurses, nurse anesthetists, and OB/GYNs may be accepted for shorter assignments), and all other professionals for nine to 12 months. 
  • Ability to Live and Work as a Team. With long hours and basic living conditions, aid workers need to be tolerant, flexible, and possess solid interpersonal skills. Experience in Resource-Poor Settings. Prior work experience in the developing world or extensive work in resource-poor North American settings is strongly desired. 
  • Ability to Manage Stress. With sizable workloads in or near conflict areas, aid workers must be able to cope in difficult and unpredictable situations. Flexibility. Situations can change quickly in the field, and job descriptions must change accordingly. 
  • Flexibility is critical to success on a project. 
  • Language skills. The ability to speak French, Portuguese, Spanish, or Arabic, as well as English, is highly valued, as are many other languages. 

Who is Needed

Medical
Physicians, Obstetricians/Gynecologists, Surgeons, Anesthesiologists, Registered Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Operating Room Nurses, Nurse-Midwives, Epidemiologists, HIV/AIDS and TB Specialists, Pharmacists, Mental Health Specialists

Non-Medical
Logisticians coordinate supplies, oversee transportation and communications equipment, and supervise national non-medical staff. Water and Sanitation Specialists and Construction Professionals provide clean water and housing to stem the spread of communicable diseases, give shelter to displaced people, and create hospital facilities. Administrators and Financial Controllers are responsible for project bookkeeping, budget control, financial reporting, and human resources.

Learn more.