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Photo by Marjie Middleton/MSF
"We’ve heard stories of women left to deliver on their own in a tent. Such stories are very upsetting to me as a midwife, because I know how dangerous it is and how awful it must be for a mother to give birth scared and alone.” - MSF midwife in Lebanon working with pregnant Syrian refugees  Read the story 

Photo by Marjie Middleton/MSF

"We’ve heard stories of women left to deliver on their own in a tent. Such stories are very upsetting to me as a midwife, because I know how dangerous it is and how awful it must be for a mother to give birth scared and alone.” - MSF midwife in Lebanon working with pregnant Syrian refugees  Read the story 

Conflict’s Impact on the Population in Eastern DRC

The population of the Kivu provinces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo is fighting to survive, not only against the bullets flying in the latest peak of this long-running conflict but also against the vacuum of infrastructure and health resources.

Since April 2012, MSF has treated more than 200 people wounded during clashes between armed groups. Yet the number of patients admitted with bullet wounds or machete cuts only hints at the impact this conflict is having on the health and well-being of people in this troubled region.Photo: DRC 2012 © Emily Lynch/MSF

Conflict’s Impact on the Population in Eastern DRC

The population of the Kivu provinces in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo is fighting to survive, not only against the bullets flying in the latest peak of this long-running conflict but also against the vacuum of infrastructure and health resources.

Since April 2012, MSF has treated more than 200 people wounded during clashes between armed groups. Yet the number of patients admitted with bullet wounds or machete cuts only hints at the impact this conflict is having on the health and well-being of people in this troubled region.

Photo: DRC 2012 © Emily Lynch/MSF

South Sudan: Sudden Influx of Tens of Thousands of Refugees Demands Immediate Response

Tens of thousands of refugees who have fled fighting in Sudan to seek safety in neighboring South Sudan are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, with many people taking shelter under trees and suffering from a dire lack of water, MSF said today.Up to 30,000 people recently crossed the from Sudan’s Blue Nile State into South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, after an arduous weeks-long journey that many people reportedly did not survive. They joined 70,000 refugees who have also fled fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the SPLM-North armed group. The refugees are living in camps with alarmingly insufficient basic services, especially water supplies. MSF calls on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to immediately identify a suitable place of refuge.Photo: A new influx of 30,000 refugees crossed the border from Sudan’s Blue Nile State into South Sudan’s Upper Nile State over a period of about 2 weeks, joining the 70,000 refugees who are already hosted in overcrowded refugee camps. 
South Sudan 2012 © Jean-Marc Jacobs/MSF

South Sudan: Sudden Influx of Tens of Thousands of Refugees Demands Immediate Response

Tens of thousands of refugees who have fled fighting in Sudan to seek safety in neighboring South Sudan are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance, with many people taking shelter under trees and suffering from a dire lack of water, MSF said today.

Up to 30,000 people recently crossed the from Sudan’s Blue Nile State into South Sudan’s Upper Nile State, after an arduous weeks-long journey that many people reportedly did not survive. They joined 70,000 refugees who have also fled fighting between the Sudanese Armed Forces and the SPLM-North armed group. The refugees are living in camps with alarmingly insufficient basic services, especially water supplies. MSF calls on the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) to immediately identify a suitable place of refuge.

Photo: A new influx of 30,000 refugees crossed the border from Sudan’s Blue Nile State into South Sudan’s Upper Nile State over a period of about 2 weeks, joining the 70,000 refugees who are already hosted in overcrowded refugee camps.
South Sudan 2012 © Jean-Marc Jacobs/MSF

TELL CONGRESS TO IMPROVE FOOD AID FOR MALNOURISHED CHILDREN

Right now, the US Congress is considering changes to the Farm Bill, the law that dictates what kind of food aid assistance the US sends overseas. With better nutrition standards, US food aid could save more children suffering from malnutrition.TAKE ACTION! SIGN THE PETITION!photo: Burkina Faso © Jessica Dimmock

TELL CONGRESS TO IMPROVE FOOD AID FOR MALNOURISHED CHILDREN

Right now, the US Congress is considering changes to the Farm Bill, the law that dictates what kind of food aid assistance the US sends overseas. With better nutrition standards, US food aid could save more children suffering from malnutrition.

TAKE ACTION! SIGN THE PETITION!

photo: Burkina Faso © Jessica Dimmock

South Sudan: MSF Assists Patients Wounded in Aerial Bombardment in Unity StateMSF is treating patients wounded on April 10 during aerial bombardments of Abiemnom in South Sudan’s Unity State. Violence has rocked the region over the past few weeks and the situation remains extremely volatile.MSF’s hospital in Agok, 36 kilometers (about 22 miles) east of Abiemnom, received four wounded patients on the afternoon of April 10—a woman and three children—all of whom had severe open wounds requiring multiple surgeries. All four have now been stabilized. The MSF team in Agok has also donated drugs and equipment to the Ministry of Health’s medical center in Abiemnom to support the treatment of an additional 40 wounded patients there.

“In this region the population is on the frontline,” says Emmanuel Roussier, MSF’s head of mission in Juba. “Emergencies are unfolding one after another. Our teams are doing their best to respond to people’s most urgent needs—whether for food, shelter, or health care. Our constant concern is to provide comprehensive secondary health care and life saving activities to all the communities in the region.”South Sudan 2011 © Corentin Fohlen
Internally displaced refugees who fled the fighting in the Abyei region carry relief items distributed by MSF.

South Sudan: MSF Assists Patients Wounded in Aerial Bombardment in Unity State

MSF is treating patients wounded on April 10 during aerial bombardments of Abiemnom in South Sudan’s Unity State. Violence has rocked the region over the past few weeks and the situation remains extremely volatile.

MSF’s hospital in Agok, 36 kilometers (about 22 miles) east of Abiemnom, received four wounded patients on the afternoon of April 10—a woman and three children—all of whom had severe open wounds requiring multiple surgeries. All four have now been stabilized. The MSF team in Agok has also donated drugs and equipment to the Ministry of Health’s medical center in Abiemnom to support the treatment of an additional 40 wounded patients there.

“In this region the population is on the frontline,” says Emmanuel Roussier, MSF’s head of mission in Juba. “Emergencies are unfolding one after another. Our teams are doing their best to respond to people’s most urgent needs—whether for food, shelter, or health care. Our constant concern is to provide comprehensive secondary health care and life saving activities to all the communities in the region.”

South Sudan 2011 © Corentin Fohlen
Internally displaced refugees who fled the fighting in the Abyei region carry relief items distributed by MSF.

DRC: Civilians and Aid Workers Victims of Renewed Fighting in the Kivus

Civilians and aid workers are increasingly the targets of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where armed conflicts and large troop movements have recently intensified, and where security risks have made it increasingly difficult to continue to provide medical care, said the international medical humanitarian organization MSF on Wednesday.

National and international stabilization forces in DRC have never been more important, but MSF questions their effectiveness given the worsening situation.

“The situation is not stabilizing in Kivu,” said MSF program manager Dr. Marcela Allheimen. “It is deteriorating again, and has been deteriorating over the last several months. We are noticing renewed violence, but what is most alarming is the commonplace nature of violence on civilian populations and aid actors.”Read the whole MSF press release.Photo: DRC 2011 © Ben Milpas
Children at the Mweso hospital, where MSF is continuing to work despite the threat of continuing violence

DRC: Civilians and Aid Workers Victims of Renewed Fighting in the Kivus

Civilians and aid workers are increasingly the targets of violence in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where armed conflicts and large troop movements have recently intensified, and where security risks have made it increasingly difficult to continue to provide medical care, said the international medical humanitarian organization MSF on Wednesday.

National and international stabilization forces in DRC have never been more important, but MSF questions their effectiveness given the worsening situation.

“The situation is not stabilizing in Kivu,” said MSF program manager Dr. Marcela Allheimen. “It is deteriorating again, and has been deteriorating over the last several months. We are noticing renewed violence, but what is most alarming is the commonplace nature of violence on civilian populations and aid actors.”

Read the whole MSF press release.

Photo: DRC 2011 © Ben Milpas
Children at the Mweso hospital, where MSF is continuing to work despite the threat of continuing violence

Haiti: MSF Opens New Surgical Center in Port-au-Prince


Work on the 107-bed center began in 2011 and was completed in February, 2012. The center treats victims of accidental trauma, such as falls and road accidents, and victims of violence who have suffered beatings, assaults, and gunshot wounds.

“MSF is now supporting the Ministry of Public Health and Population with 600 hospital beds in Haiti for emergency care,” said Drossart. “This is still far from adequate, but is nevertheless an advance.”
In a country where 75 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and where referral facilities are vastly inadequate, MSF’s new center will improve access to surgical care for the population of Port-au-Prince’s metropolitan area.Haiti 2012 © Yann Libessart/MSF
The entrance to MSF’s new surgical center in Tabarre.

Haiti: MSF Opens New Surgical Center in Port-au-Prince

Work on the 107-bed center began in 2011 and was completed in February, 2012. The center treats victims of accidental trauma, such as falls and road accidents, and victims of violence who have suffered beatings, assaults, and gunshot wounds.

“MSF is now supporting the Ministry of Public Health and Population with 600 hospital beds in Haiti for emergency care,” said Drossart. “This is still far from adequate, but is nevertheless an advance.” In a country where 75 percent of the population lives below the poverty line, and where referral facilities are vastly inadequate, MSF’s new center will improve access to surgical care for the population of Port-au-Prince’s metropolitan area.

Haiti 2012 © Yann Libessart/MSF
The entrance to MSF’s new surgical center in Tabarre.

Special Report: Assisting the Somali Population Affected by the Humanitarian Crisis of 2011

Somalia’s humanitarian crisis continues to be one of the worst in the world. This year, Somalis have faced the devastating effects of drought, compounding a long-lasting conflict and the absence of a functioning health care system.

Throughout 2011 MSF ran medical projects in up to 22 different locations in south-central Somalia, the epicenter of the crisis, as well as large-scale programs in the Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya.
	
In the period from May to December 2011, MSF treated over 95,000 patients for malnutrition, and treated over 6,000 patients for measles and vaccinated almost 235,000 children against the disease. Within its various health care structures MSF assisted in over 5,500 deliveries and provided over 450,000 consultations.

 Download the full report here.

Photo: A Somali woman waits for food distribution in the Badbadoo refugee camp. Somalia 2011 © Martina Bacigalupo

Special Report: Assisting the Somali Population Affected by the Humanitarian Crisis of 2011

Somalia’s humanitarian crisis continues to be one of the worst in the world. This year, Somalis have faced the devastating effects of drought, compounding a long-lasting conflict and the absence of a functioning health care system.

Throughout 2011 MSF ran medical projects in up to 22 different locations in south-central Somalia, the epicenter of the crisis, as well as large-scale programs in the Somali refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya.

In the period from May to December 2011, MSF treated over 95,000 patients for malnutrition, and treated over 6,000 patients for measles and vaccinated almost 235,000 children against the disease. Within its various health care structures MSF assisted in over 5,500 deliveries and provided over 450,000 consultations.

Download the full report here.

Photo: A Somali woman waits for food distribution in the Badbadoo refugee camp. Somalia 2011 © Martina Bacigalupo

MSF Condemns Armed Robbery, Aid Worker Intimidation at MSF Compound in Eastern DRC

The attack was one of a several incidents including a kidnapping (and subsequent release) that have threatened the safety of the organization’s staff and patients in the last week.
	On April 4, armed and uniformed men broke through the fence surrounding the MSF compound in Baraka in the province of South Kivu, where MSF supports a hospital and several health centers. No staff were injured in the attack. Medical services continue with a reduced number of international staff.

	“MSF is providing urgently needed health care to people living in eastern DRC,” said MSF’s Operations Manager Katrien Coppens. “But in order for us to continue providing essential medical services, there has to be a minimum of respect for the safety and security of those carrying out humanitarian aid work.”Photo: DRC 2010 © MSF

MSF Condemns Armed Robbery, Aid Worker Intimidation at MSF Compound in Eastern DRC

The attack was one of a several incidents including a kidnapping (and subsequent release) that have threatened the safety of the organization’s staff and patients in the last week.

On April 4, armed and uniformed men broke through the fence surrounding the MSF compound in Baraka in the province of South Kivu, where MSF supports a hospital and several health centers. No staff were injured in the attack. Medical services continue with a reduced number of international staff.

“MSF is providing urgently needed health care to people living in eastern DRC,” said MSF’s Operations Manager Katrien Coppens. “But in order for us to continue providing essential medical services, there has to be a minimum of respect for the safety and security of those carrying out humanitarian aid work.”

Photo: DRC 2010 © MSF

Sahel: As Likely Malnutrition Crisis Looms, MSF Prepares Short- And Long-Term Responses

A food crisis has been declared in the Sahelian Band of West Africa. UNICEF has estimated that up to 15 million people in six countries in the region are living with moderate or acute food insecurity. In a region where global acute childhood malnutrition rates regularly near the warning threshold of 10 percent, any factor that further reduces access to food can tip the situation into a full-blown nutritional crisis.

	Although MSF has not yet noted a significant increase in cases in most of its current nutritional programs, the organization did have to open new malnutrition treatment programs in Biltine and Yao, in Chad, where rates of acute malnutrition of 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively, have been reported. Teams are also evaluating the nutritional situation in other areas of Chad, as well as in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Senegal.

	“It is too soon to know the extent of the expected nutritional crisis,” says Stéphane Doyon, manager of MSF’s malnutrition campaign. “Traditionally, the most difficult period is still ahead, between May and July. However, we already project that hundreds of thousands of children will suffer from acute severe malnutrition, as they do every year in this region.”Photo: Chad 2011 © Alfons Rodriguez
An MSF staff member measures the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of a child with severe acute malnutrition in Chad.

Sahel: As Likely Malnutrition Crisis Looms, MSF Prepares Short- And Long-Term Responses

A food crisis has been declared in the Sahelian Band of West Africa. UNICEF has estimated that up to 15 million people in six countries in the region are living with moderate or acute food insecurity. In a region where global acute childhood malnutrition rates regularly near the warning threshold of 10 percent, any factor that further reduces access to food can tip the situation into a full-blown nutritional crisis.

Although MSF has not yet noted a significant increase in cases in most of its current nutritional programs, the organization did have to open new malnutrition treatment programs in Biltine and Yao, in Chad, where rates of acute malnutrition of 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively, have been reported. Teams are also evaluating the nutritional situation in other areas of Chad, as well as in Mali, Niger, Mauritania, and Senegal.

“It is too soon to know the extent of the expected nutritional crisis,” says Stéphane Doyon, manager of MSF’s malnutrition campaign. “Traditionally, the most difficult period is still ahead, between May and July. However, we already project that hundreds of thousands of children will suffer from acute severe malnutrition, as they do every year in this region.”

Photo: Chad 2011 © Alfons Rodriguez
An MSF staff member measures the mid-upper arm circumference (MUAC) of a child with severe acute malnutrition in Chad.

Libya: A Precarious Situation for Vulnerable Populations

As Libya grapples with consolidating state authority and restoring normality after the revolution, groups of migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people remain in a vulnerable and precarious situation. MSF is continuing to provide basic medical and psychological assistance to these groups in Tripoli. In parallel, MSF will also end its remaining activities in Misrata at the beginning of April to refocus on other areas of intervention.

There are concerns that camps in Tripoli are being shut down by authorities without any clear strategy that the people will be appropriately cared for afterwards, leaving former residents in an even more vulnerable situation. Already on February 14, a camp where hundreds of primarily sub-Saharan African migrants had taken refuge was closed and evacuated. On March 20, another camp housing approximately 300 Somali refugees was evacuated, with residents now being spread out over Tripoli. As MSF had been running mobile clinics in these two camps, it is now trying to trace patients to be able to ensure the provision of follow-up care if needed.

Currently, MSF is running mobile clinics in two camps for internally displaced people in the city, providing basic health care and psychological support. When necessary, MSF also assists in referring residents to secondary health structures. The camps, containing a total of approximately 4,000 people, are primarily made up of people from the Tawargha city. Members of this community were forcibly displaced at the end of the conflict, and are unable to return home. On average, MSF performs 50 consultations in these two camps every week.Libya 2011 © Niklas Bergstrand
Nearly all buildings in Tripoli street in downtown Misrata were completely destroyed during the war.

Libya: A Precarious Situation for Vulnerable Populations

As Libya grapples with consolidating state authority and restoring normality after the revolution, groups of migrants, refugees, and internally displaced people remain in a vulnerable and precarious situation. MSF is continuing to provide basic medical and psychological assistance to these groups in Tripoli. In parallel, MSF will also end its remaining activities in Misrata at the beginning of April to refocus on other areas of intervention.

There are concerns that camps in Tripoli are being shut down by authorities without any clear strategy that the people will be appropriately cared for afterwards, leaving former residents in an even more vulnerable situation. Already on February 14, a camp where hundreds of primarily sub-Saharan African migrants had taken refuge was closed and evacuated. On March 20, another camp housing approximately 300 Somali refugees was evacuated, with residents now being spread out over Tripoli. As MSF had been running mobile clinics in these two camps, it is now trying to trace patients to be able to ensure the provision of follow-up care if needed.

Currently, MSF is running mobile clinics in two camps for internally displaced people in the city, providing basic health care and psychological support. When necessary, MSF also assists in referring residents to secondary health structures. The camps, containing a total of approximately 4,000 people, are primarily made up of people from the Tawargha city. Members of this community were forcibly displaced at the end of the conflict, and are unable to return home. On average, MSF performs 50 consultations in these two camps every week.

Libya 2011 © Niklas Bergstrand
Nearly all buildings in Tripoli street in downtown Misrata were completely destroyed during the war.

DRC: MSF Launches Massive Malaria Response Across Three Provinces

Several regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are facing a serious outbreak of malaria. MSF teams are working in three provinces, supporting the Congolese Ministry of Health. So far, MSF has treated more than 17,000 people in Maniema, Equateur, and Orientale provinces.In DRC, malaria is the leading cause of death. Every year the mosquito-borne disease kills 180,000 children under five.

“To contain the disease, a purely preventative approach such as mosquito net distribution is not enough. We must also treat as many people as possible,” said Dr. Jorgen Stassijn, a malaria specialist and member of the MSF team currently working in Equateur Province.DRC 2011 © Ben Milpas
Mothers feed their children beneath mosquito netting in an MSF facility

DRC: MSF Launches Massive Malaria Response Across Three Provinces

Several regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) are facing a serious outbreak of malaria. MSF teams are working in three provinces, supporting the Congolese Ministry of Health. So far, MSF has treated more than 17,000 people in Maniema, Equateur, and Orientale provinces.

In DRC, malaria is the leading cause of death. Every year the mosquito-borne disease kills 180,000 children under five.

“To contain the disease, a purely preventative approach such as mosquito net distribution is not enough. We must also treat as many people as possible,” said Dr. Jorgen Stassijn, a malaria specialist and member of the MSF team currently working in Equateur Province.

DRC 2011 © Ben Milpas
Mothers feed their children beneath mosquito netting in an MSF facility

Armenia: In Fight Against TB, MSF Expands Patient Centered Approach

MSF has stepped up the implementation of its patient-centered drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) treatment program in Armenia in order to combat the alarming rising rates of the disease in the country.

	MSF’s patient-centered program aims to provide a complete package of care for DR-TB patients, including medical, social, and psychological support. Once a patient starts treatment, MSF tries to help them cope with the side effects by providing face-to-face individual medical monitoring and treatment, individual or group counseling, home visits, and food assistance—all of which are designed to help patients adhere to the drug regimen. A comprehensive follow up program helps as well, as does patient education and access to care, which can be improved by bringing the care as close to the patients as possible.Armenia 2012 © Eddy McCall/MSF
An MSF TB doctor conducts a home-based visit for a DRTB patient in Armenia.

Armenia: In Fight Against TB, MSF Expands Patient Centered Approach

MSF has stepped up the implementation of its patient-centered drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) treatment program in Armenia in order to combat the alarming rising rates of the disease in the country.

MSF’s patient-centered program aims to provide a complete package of care for DR-TB patients, including medical, social, and psychological support. Once a patient starts treatment, MSF tries to help them cope with the side effects by providing face-to-face individual medical monitoring and treatment, individual or group counseling, home visits, and food assistance—all of which are designed to help patients adhere to the drug regimen. A comprehensive follow up program helps as well, as does patient education and access to care, which can be improved by bringing the care as close to the patients as possible.

Armenia 2012 © Eddy McCall/MSF
An MSF TB doctor conducts a home-based visit for a DRTB patient in Armenia.

Cambodia: Improving TB Detection and Treatment in Prisons

Doctors Without Borders is expanding medical activities in three prisons in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to include basic primary health care in addition to providing ongoing tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS screening and treatment support.

MSF has been working in CC1, CC2, and PJ prisons in Phnom Penh, which collectively contain 25 percent of Cambodia’s total prison population, since February 2010. The priorities have been to improve detection of  TB and HIV and provide correct care and treatment for prisoners affected by the diseases during their detention. TB is spread by airborne droplets released when an infected person coughs, so the overcrowded, poorly ventilated and cramped conditions in Cambodian prisons provide ideal conditions for the disease to breed.Photo: Cambodia 2011 © Christine Wagari/MSF
MSF staff supervise TB and HIV screening in CC1 Prison, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodia: Improving TB Detection and Treatment in Prisons

Doctors Without Borders is expanding medical activities in three prisons in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to include basic primary health care in addition to providing ongoing tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS screening and treatment support.

MSF has been working in CC1, CC2, and PJ prisons in Phnom Penh, which collectively contain 25 percent of Cambodia’s total prison population, since February 2010. The priorities have been to improve detection of TB and HIV and provide correct care and treatment for prisoners affected by the diseases during their detention. TB is spread by airborne droplets released when an infected person coughs, so the overcrowded, poorly ventilated and cramped conditions in Cambodian prisons provide ideal conditions for the disease to breed.

Photo: Cambodia 2011 © Christine Wagari/MSF MSF staff supervise TB and HIV screening in CC1 Prison, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Alarming Scale of Multidrug-Resistant TB Requires Rapid Response

Alarming new data suggest that the global scope of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is much more vast than previously estimated, requiring a concerted international effort to combat this deadlier form of the disease, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders announced today.

“Wherever we look for drug resistant TB we are finding it in alarming numbers, suggesting current statistics may only be scratching the surface of the problem,” said MSF president Dr. Unni Karunakara. “And with 95 percent of TB patients worldwide lacking access to proper diagnosis, efforts to scale up detection of MDR-TB are being severely undermined by a retreat in donor funding— precisely when increased funding is needed most.”
Photo: India 2012 © Bithin Das
Some of the drugs, part of a long, difficult regimen, that MDR-TB patients must take

Alarming Scale of Multidrug-Resistant TB Requires Rapid Response

Alarming new data suggest that the global scope of multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) is much more vast than previously estimated, requiring a concerted international effort to combat this deadlier form of the disease, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders announced today.

“Wherever we look for drug resistant TB we are finding it in alarming numbers, suggesting current statistics may only be scratching the surface of the problem,” said MSF president Dr. Unni Karunakara. “And with 95 percent of TB patients worldwide lacking access to proper diagnosis, efforts to scale up detection of MDR-TB are being severely undermined by a retreat in donor funding— precisely when increased funding is needed most.”

Photo: India 2012 © Bithin Das
Some of the drugs, part of a long, difficult regimen, that MDR-TB patients must take