MSF chooses to concentrate the majority of resources on treatment, because that’s what doctors do best – that’s what we’re here for. So zero AIDS related deaths in Zimbabwe means that, by direct intervention or by advocacy or by system support, we have to double the number of people living with HIV on treatment – and then double the number again. Today there are around 300,000 people in Zimbabwe on treatment and around 1,200,000 people living with HIV, all of whom will eventually need the best treatment available if we’re going to prevent them from dying of AIDS. That’s quite a tough challenge.
- Paul Foreman, MSF head of mission in Zimbabwe
We know for a fact that there will be additional epidemics in the near future. It would simply not be right to wait for them to occur. We need an effective system to anticipate and prepare for the coming outbreaks.
Florence Fermon, MSF’s vaccination coordinator on the increasing number of measles epidemics.
On September 13-14, 2011, the Measles Initiative met in Washington, D.C., bringing together organizations seeking to eliminate measles worldwide. Given the troubling resurgence of measles epidemics over the last three years, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for an effective outbreak response mechanism to be established immediately, with secure financial and technical resources.
Since 2008, MSF has responded to epidemics that have expanded over time. In 2010, for example, more than 4.5 million children were vaccinated in emergencies in many countries, including Chad, Malawi, South Africa, Yemen and Zimbabwe. This year, medical teams in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) vaccinated three million children, but could not halt the epidemic. Despite data showing the urgent need for action, actors in the field were slow to organize. The DRC is no exception. Most countries that experience these epidemics do not adequately mobilize the resources available to them and organize vaccination campaigns.
Read more here about what MSF is calling for to ease the outbreaks.
I’m afraid of the xenophobia everybody says is coming after the World Cup.
31-year-old Zimbabwean man living in Johannesburg
A group of people burst into the house, breaking the door. They asked me to show them my South African ID, and when I said I didn’t have any, they started to beat me with sticks, stones, punches, kicks. I managed to escape from the house and started to run along the road, but they didn’t stop. They started to follow me with the car and let me run for a while. They caught me again and beat me up until I was lying on the ground covered in blood. They left me there because they thought I was dead. After a while I tried to move and with difficulty reached a phone box and called an ambulance. The ambulance didn’t arrive. Three people stopped their car when they saw me lying on the ground, carried me into their car and brought me to the hospital. This is not the first time. Last year, six people beat me up, but it wasn’t like now – this time they wanted to kill me.
20-year-old Zimbabwean man in Westernburg, Polokwane