Posts tagged trauma

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.  
Photo: Looted and burned houses in Pinga after fighting between armed groups caused the majority of the town’s population—together with many of MSF’s Congolese staff—to flee the area in October. DRC 2012 © MSF
Violence in North Kivu, DRC, Displaces Thousands, Forces Majority of MSF Personnel to Evacuate
Active fighting has hit the town of Pinga in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) once again, forcing 20,000 inhabitants and the majority of Congolese personnel employed by MSF to flee for the second time in six weeks.
Armed groups have clashed in the last few days, causing widespread panic and alarm in the area. Fearing for their lives, people grabbed whatever they could carry and ran into the surrounding forests. While displaced from their homes and villages, people’s access to health care is extremely limited. Some of those wounded in the fighting were brought to the MSF-run hospital 50 kilometers [about 31 miles] away in Mweso where doctors treated 24 people for violent trauma. Twelve more managed to reach the Mpeti health center 18 kilometers [about 11 miles] away from Pinga.
“What we see in Pinga is the tip of the iceberg,” said Grace Tang, MSF head of mission. “This kind of violence and mass displacement is happening throughout the province of North Kivu. We’re trying to respond as best we can in very difficult and challenging circumstances.”

Photo: Looted and burned houses in Pinga after fighting between armed groups caused the majority of the town’s population—together with many of MSF’s Congolese staff—to flee the area in October. DRC 2012 © MSF

Violence in North Kivu, DRC, Displaces Thousands, Forces Majority of MSF Personnel to Evacuate


Active fighting has hit the town of Pinga in the North Kivu Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) once again, forcing 20,000 inhabitants and the majority of Congolese personnel employed by MSF to flee for the second time in six weeks.

Armed groups have clashed in the last few days, causing widespread panic and alarm in the area. Fearing for their lives, people grabbed whatever they could carry and ran into the surrounding forests. While displaced from their homes and villages, people’s access to health care is extremely limited. Some of those wounded in the fighting were brought to the MSF-run hospital 50 kilometers [about 31 miles] away in Mweso where doctors treated 24 people for violent trauma. Twelve more managed to reach the Mpeti health center 18 kilometers [about 11 miles] away from Pinga.

“What we see in Pinga is the tip of the iceberg,” said Grace Tang, MSF head of mission. “This kind of violence and mass displacement is happening throughout the province of North Kivu. We’re trying to respond as best we can in very difficult and challenging circumstances.”

We don’t take sides; we care for people on all sides of this war. For neighbors shot for cutting down a tree; for children shot for being in the wrong place at the wrong time; for people injured by a blast while going down the street for bread; for entire families who have had grenades thrown at them.
Photo: A patient tells his story during a mental health consultation in Dagahaley camp. Kenya 2012 © Robin Hammond
Psychologists Sans Frontières: Bringing Mental Health Care to People Who Need It
During wars or following natural disasters, the proportion of people suffering from depression or anxiety—both normal reactions to traumatic events—often doubles or triples. In extreme situations, the whole population experiences increased anxiety or sadness. Most people get through it alone or with the help of friends and family. But for others, psychological or psychiatric care is necessary. 
Psychologists are an integral part of our teams, and play a vital role in patient recovery. In 2011, MSF psychologists carried out almost 17,000 individual mental health consultations and 19,2000 group counseling sessions. Learn more about how and why we’re providing mental health care in projects around the world. 

Photo: A patient tells his story during a mental health consultation in Dagahaley camp. Kenya 2012 © Robin Hammond

Psychologists Sans Frontières: Bringing Mental Health Care to People Who Need It

During wars or following natural disasters, the proportion of people suffering from depression or anxiety—both normal reactions to traumatic events—often doubles or triples. In extreme situations, the whole population experiences increased anxiety or sadness. Most people get through it alone or with the help of friends and family. But for others, psychological or psychiatric care is necessary. 

Psychologists are an integral part of our teams, and play a vital role in patient recovery. In 2011, MSF psychologists carried out almost 17,000 individual mental health consultations and 19,2000 group counseling sessions. Learn more about how and why we’re providing mental health care in projects around the world. 

Music Opens Doors To A Girl’s Recovery in Haiti

Musicians in a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Haiti can play a key role in getting traumatized patients to open up and talk to counselors. Eight-year-old My Darling is one of those patients. Watch the first of three daily videos on three young patients being treated at Drouillard Hospital in Port-au-Prince.