Posts tagged medical care

Photo by Ton Koene
The upheaval in Central African Republic has meant HIV treatment interruptions and mounting medical needs. Meanwhile, health workers flee with their families to safety and the malaria season starts. MSF tries to respond to this ‘crisis on top of a crisis’.” 
Read more - http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=6804

Photo by Ton Koene

The upheaval in Central African Republic has meant HIV treatment interruptions and mounting medical needs. Meanwhile, health workers flee with their families to safety and the malaria season starts. MSF tries to respond to this ‘crisis on top of a crisis’.” 

Read more - http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/news/article.cfm?id=6804

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.

The situation is extremely bad. We have no sewage system and had to dig holes in the ground. When it rains the water flows into the tents so the kids get sick. It’s also very cold and most families don’t have heaters, so we have to burn all sorts of materials. The kids are sick. Ourmost important concern here right now is medical care. We need doctors.
Syrian refugee from Deir Zenoun Camp, on the Misery Beyond the War Zone. 

In War-Ravaged Syria, MSF Works to Get People Access to Medical Care

Doctors Without Borders is supporting a secret healthcare facility in Idlib Province and continues to try to improve access to medical care in war-ravaged areas.

Photo:A makeshift hospital in Idlib Governorate, destroyed by armed forces at the end of March 2012. Syria 2012 © MSF
In Syria’s Idlib Province, Little Medical Care For Civilians Living Under Intense Bombing
In the north of Syria’s Idlib Province, civilians are terrorized by a strategy of intense and indiscriminate bombing and the wounded face few options for emergency medical care, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.
As fighting intensifies north of the road linking Aleppo and Idlib provinces, Syrian government forces are bombing towns and villages indiscriminately, endangering the lives of ordinary people.  An MSF team returned from one northern city in Idlib, which was repeatedly bombed over recent months. The only medical facility still functioning there is a secretly run clinic, staffed by local people and a few Syrian health workers.
"Since we’re prohibited from working on the side of the government forces, we’re not able to take an impartial view of the situation,” said Dr. Mego Terzian, MSF’s emergency operations manager. “But what we’re witnessing is a real strategy of terror, orchestrated by the Syrian government, against the people of this area.”

Photo:A makeshift hospital in Idlib Governorate, destroyed by armed forces at the end of March 2012. Syria 2012 © MSF

In Syria’s Idlib Province, Little Medical Care For Civilians Living Under Intense Bombing


In the north of Syria’s Idlib Province, civilians are terrorized by a strategy of intense and indiscriminate bombing and the wounded face few options for emergency medical care, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.

As fighting intensifies north of the road linking Aleppo and Idlib provinces, Syrian government forces are bombing towns and villages indiscriminately, endangering the lives of ordinary people.  An MSF team returned from one northern city in Idlib, which was repeatedly bombed over recent months. The only medical facility still functioning there is a secretly run clinic, staffed by local people and a few Syrian health workers.

"Since we’re prohibited from working on the side of the government forces, we’re not able to take an impartial view of the situation,” said Dr. Mego Terzian, MSF’s emergency operations manager. “But what we’re witnessing is a real strategy of terror, orchestrated by the Syrian government, against the people of this area.”

Photo: Young MDR-TB patients in Blue House, a facility in Nairobi where MSF treats TB and HIV. Kenya 2011 © Yann Libessart
New MSF Multinational Study of Pediatric TB/HIV Co-Infection Confirms Crisis of Undiagnosed TB Among Children
Data from the largest-ever multinational cohort of children infected with both tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, released by MSF, definitively shows that there is an urgent need for better TB tests for children. The standard TB test fails to detect the disease in children 93% of the time. 
“When you’re only detecting TB in one out of ten children, you can be sure that many are falling through the cracks simply because they’re not being diagnosed, resulting in unnecessary deaths and the disease spreading to others,” said Dr. Philipp du Cros, head of MSF’s medical department in London. “Most revealing of this sad reality is that until just last month, there was little data on the global burden of pediatric TB.”
One of the main barriers to developing a TB test that works in children has been the lack of a gold standard to assess performance of new diagnostic tools. In a process led by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), a consensus on clinical case definition and methodological approaches to apply in the evaluation of new TB diagnostic tests in children was developed. This consensus should open the way for academic groups and test developers to work towards better TB tests for kids.
“What we need to see now is test developers showing that children are a priority, and that will mean developing tests that respond to their needs,” said Dr. Grania Brigden, TB Advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign. “We need to move away from having to put children through excruciating procedures to get lab specimens that in the end don’t provide us with a diagnosis.” 

Photo: Young MDR-TB patients in Blue House, a facility in Nairobi where MSF treats TB and HIV. Kenya 2011 © Yann Libessart

New MSF Multinational Study of Pediatric TB/HIV Co-Infection Confirms Crisis of Undiagnosed TB Among Children


Data from the largest-ever multinational cohort of children infected with both tuberculosis (TB) and HIV, released by MSF, definitively shows that there is an urgent need for better TB tests for children. The standard TB test fails to detect the disease in children 93% of the time. 

“When you’re only detecting TB in one out of ten children, you can be sure that many are falling through the cracks simply because they’re not being diagnosed, resulting in unnecessary deaths and the disease spreading to others,” said Dr. Philipp du Cros, head of MSF’s medical department in London. “Most revealing of this sad reality is that until just last month, there was little data on the global burden of pediatric TB.”

One of the main barriers to developing a TB test that works in children has been the lack of a gold standard to assess performance of new diagnostic tools. In a process led by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), a consensus on clinical case definition and methodological approaches to apply in the evaluation of new TB diagnostic tests in children was developed. This consensus should open the way for academic groups and test developers to work towards better TB tests for kids.

“What we need to see now is test developers showing that children are a priority, and that will mean developing tests that respond to their needs,” said Dr. Grania Brigden, TB Advisor for MSF’s Access Campaign. “We need to move away from having to put children through excruciating procedures to get lab specimens that in the end don’t provide us with a diagnosis.” 

Photo: An MSF physician examines patients in a makeshift medical clinic in a building at the Ocean Village housing complex. USA 2012 © Michael Goldfarb/MSF
Filling Gaps in Medical Aid for People Affected by Hurricane Sandy
On November 5,2012, MSF working alongside local community groups, are providing medical and mental health care to Hurricane Sandy-affected communities in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as Hoboken, New Jersey. The vast majority of the patients treated by MSF in the shelters and underserved communities have been elderly, homeless, or physically or mentally impaired.

Photo: An MSF physician examines patients in a makeshift medical clinic in a building at the Ocean Village housing complex. USA 2012 © Michael Goldfarb/MSF

Filling Gaps in Medical Aid for People Affected by Hurricane Sandy

On November 5,2012, MSF working alongside local community groups, are providing medical and mental health care to Hurricane Sandy-affected communities in the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island, as well as Hoboken, New Jersey. The vast majority of the patients treated by MSF in the shelters and underserved communities have been elderly, homeless, or physically or mentally impaired.

Please SHARE this call for entry with any film-makers and photographers you know who have produced work celebrating the cultures of people in any of the 60+ countries Médecins Sans Frontières have worked in since 1971.Visit  http://www.msf.org.au/filmfest for entry details. Thanks for your support!

Please SHARE this call for entry with any film-makers and photographers you know who have produced work celebrating the cultures of people in any of the 60+ countries Médecins Sans Frontières have worked in since 1971.

Visit http://www.msf.org.au/filmfest for entry details.

Thanks for your support!

It’s a kind of medical utilitarianism: the patients’ needs come before everything. And people appreciate it: at a checkpoint, a man always gave us bananas because we saved his leg. They show us their babies in the street, and they remind us that the birth was difficult but that they’re still there.

Anna Halford, returning from a four-month mission as a project coordinator in DRC, reflects on the work MSF does to help people enduring daily violence.

Despite a volatile security situation, MSF continues to provide free health care in four reference hospitals, 12 health centers, and four health posts in North Kivu, as well as in four reference hospitals, 19 health centers, and five health posts in the province of South Kivu. There are also a number of cholera treatment centers (CTCs), mobile clinics, and emergency response activities.

At the project in Masisi, MSF performed 105,681 medical consultations in 2011. In the Masisi hospital, 7,226 inpatients were admitted for hospital care and 3,947 women gave birth for free.

Some came from far away, having traveled up to 150 kilometers [about 93 miles] to reach us. A good number arrived long after the initial injury had occurred rather than in the acute or semi-acute phase, [with] some arriving simply too late to be saved. Among them were patients who had not been able to have any post-operative care after their surgery, patients who received inadequate care and others who hadn’t received any medical care at all.
Kelly Dilworth, an MSF anesthetist who has worked for MSF for nine years, spent one month on mission in Syria. She recalls the pain of the wounded people she was treating and the severity of their injuries in a context where it’s difficult to get appropriate care in time.

Wounded Syrians Arrive in Jordan

A specialized Doctors Without Borders surgical team performs operations in a hospital in nearby Amman. Dr. Mohamed, a member of the team, came to Ramtha to determine whether any of the new arrivals were in need of orthopedic surgery. “The wounded people we see here have already received urgent care in Syria,” he says. “They usually have old wounds that date back several weeks or months.”

The refugee camps in Ramtha are more like transit camps, and Syrians generally do not stay very long. Dr. Mohamed visits Ramtha every few days. He gives his telephone number to the wounded patients he sees so that they can contact him when they reach Amman and arrange to be seen.

The wounded all have stories to tell. Twenty-five-year-old X*. lifts his polo shirt to show angry purple-red marks on his back. His arms were also lacerated when he was hit with rubber cables after being arrested while participating in a demonstration in Deraa. He says he was tortured in prison, where he remained for 17 days before he was transferred to Damascus. He was freed en route during an attack by the Free Syrian Army and immediately set out for Jordan.

*Names withheld to protect patient identity.

Afghanistan: Treating Child Malnutrition in Helmand

“She was vomiting and had diarrhea, and she kept losing weight,” says Mariam of her five-month-old granddaughter Nazia. “Her mother just didn’t have enough milk to feed her. We went to a private clinic but they couldn’t help us, and finally we drove here from our home district of Sangin. Nazia is feeling a little better now.”

Nazia, who still has a distended belly and a clearly visible rib cage, is one of the patients in the MSF herapeutic feeding center in Boost hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Boost hospital, where MSF has been working since 2009, is one of only two hospitals in all of southern Afghanistan. Helmand is one of the country’s most war-ravaged provinces, and has seen intense fighting over the past decades. It is home to a largely poor, rural population, even if there are signs of a growing middle class in Lashkargah.

MSF opened its feeding center in December 2011 to tackle the chronic problem of malnutrition among children in Helmand. This specialized unit helps children on the verge of starvation gain weight through assisted feeding.


Photo: An MSF staff member examines a child for malnutrition at Boost hospital.

Afghanistan 2012 © Camille Gillardeau

Afghanistan: Treating Child Malnutrition in Helmand

“She was vomiting and had diarrhea, and she kept losing weight,” says Mariam of her five-month-old granddaughter Nazia. “Her mother just didn’t have enough milk to feed her. We went to a private clinic but they couldn’t help us, and finally we drove here from our home district of Sangin. Nazia is feeling a little better now.”

Nazia, who still has a distended belly and a clearly visible rib cage, is one of the patients in the MSF herapeutic feeding center in Boost hospital in Lashkargah, the capital of Afghanistan’s Helmand province.

Boost hospital, where MSF has been working since 2009, is one of only two hospitals in all of southern Afghanistan. Helmand is one of the country’s most war-ravaged provinces, and has seen intense fighting over the past decades. It is home to a largely poor, rural population, even if there are signs of a growing middle class in Lashkargah.

MSF opened its feeding center in December 2011 to tackle the chronic problem of malnutrition among children in Helmand. This specialized unit helps children on the verge of starvation gain weight through assisted feeding.

Photo: An MSF staff member examines a child for malnutrition at Boost hospital.

Afghanistan 2012 © Camille Gillardeau

Voice From the Field: Tackling Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic

Joan Arnan, MSF Head of Mission in Haiti, has been working in Haiti for five months, coordinating MSF’s response to the cholera epidemic that has been sweeping the country since October 2010. Here, Arnan explains the response and discusses the difficulties faced by the Haitian Ministry of Health and its international partners in responding to the epidemic. Failures in the epidemiological surveillance system make it impossible to deploy an adequate response in strategic locations, and the dearth of cholera treatment services in national health facilities—along with the withdrawal of several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) following a decrease in international funding—are hampering the national response to the epidemic.

An MSF staff member educates outpatients about cholera at Léogâne hospital

Haiti 2011 © Yann Libessart/MSF

Voice From the Field: Tackling Haiti’s Cholera Epidemic

Joan Arnan, MSF Head of Mission in Haiti, has been working in Haiti for five months, coordinating MSF’s response to the cholera epidemic that has been sweeping the country since October 2010. Here, Arnan explains the response and discusses the difficulties faced by the Haitian Ministry of Health and its international partners in responding to the epidemic.

Failures in the epidemiological surveillance system make it impossible to deploy an adequate response in strategic locations, and the dearth of cholera treatment services in national health facilities—along with the withdrawal of several nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) following a decrease in international funding—are hampering the national response to the epidemic. An MSF staff member educates outpatients about cholera at Léogâne hospital

Haiti 2011 © Yann Libessart/MSF

Fighting Neglect: Sleeping Sickness

Sleeping Sickness is a fatal and much neglected disease that plagues parts of Africa.

Learn more about sleeping sickness and other neglected diseases.

Fighting Neglect: Kala azar

Kala Azar is a neglected tropical disease responsible for 50,000 deaths every year.Kala azar is a disease that, if left untreated, is 100 percent fatal. To break the vicious cycle that leaves tropical diseases like Kala azar neglected, existing programs that diagnose and treat patients need to be expanded and medical research to develop simpler, more effective tools needs to be supported.

Learn more about Kala Azar and other neglected diseases.