A cholera epidemic is sweeping down the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Originating in the distant centre of the vast central African country it has now reached the capital, Kinshasa, more than 1,000 miles southwest. People are sick and dying and desperate for help. Robin Meldrum went to the town of Mbandaka, where an MSF emergency team is responding to the crisis.
After a year of responding to the post-earthquake needs and the cholera epidemic that began in October, MSF has reviewed its own work in Haiti, and speaks out about what we see as the failure of the international aid system to respond adequately to the still enormous needs on the ground.
In this edition, hear a report from Haut Uélé Province in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, where MSF is trying to bring medical care to those injured and displaced by the Lord's Resistance Army. Listen to a report on the humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe that has given rise to the recent, ongoing cholera epidemic; and hear a day in the life of an MSF field worker from Texas helping to bring treatment to victims of cholera in Zimbabwe.
Hear about three of the urgent crises MSF named in its "Top Ten" of 2008: people's struggle to survive amid the violent chaos in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo; the dire need for the international community to adopt proven, lifesaving ready-to-use foods to treat and prevent malnutrition; and a widespread cholera epidemic in Zimbabwe, brought on by the country's downward economic spiral.