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.
In Central African Republic, one million people are estimated to be affected by the ongoing violence. Particularly since 2008, families have been repeatedly displaced from their villages, forced to flee into the bush, where they remain trapped and unable to return to their homes, with little access to any medical care.
The Bon Marche Hospital in Bunia was started by MSF in 2003 after years of conflict and instability had rendered the national health services almost non-existent. This year, MSF handed over medical activites back to the country's ministry of health.
Hear the song created by an MSF nurse in Central African Republic to raise awareness of sleeping sickness and malaria; MSF helps fight HIV/AIDS in South Africa's Khayelitsha township and addresses the double crises of HIV-TB co-infection in Swaziland.
This month we bring you a story about malnutrition in a land rich for cultivation: in the Democratic Republic of Congo, many children suffer from severe malnutrition even though food is abundant where they live. And in Uganda, a community-based movement of HIV-positive patients helps MSF provide care. Plus, this month's Emergency Updates.
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.
This edition focuses on the situation in Sudan’s conflict-ridden Darfur region. Studies conducted by the UN, US government, and other agencies estimate that between 100,000 and 400,000 people have died since the war first erupted in 2003. The UN says 2.4 million people are still living in massive displaced-persons camps after having fled violent attacks on their villages. And the UN High Commissioner for Refugees estimates that another 230,000 remain in refugee camps in neighboring Chad.