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.
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.
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.
In this edition, reports on three of the most underreported humanitarian stories from the past year, including stories on how MSF is responding to Sri Lanka's rekindled civil war and the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province. The struggle for civilians to survive amid the violence in the Central African Republic is the top story.
In this edition, listen to how MSF is responding to the conflict in Iraq and providing health care to vulnerable Burmese migrant workers in southern Thailand. In the top story, a report on the humanitarian situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province, which has been the setting of chronic fighting for nearly a decade. Since August, clashes between the Congolese army and rebel groups refusing to be integrated into the national army have forced more than 500,000 people to flee, according to the United Nations.
In this edition, news about the surge of reported sexual violence cases in the Democratic Republic of Congo; MSF medical teams discuss the challenges of treating HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis in one of Kenya's largest slums; and how MSF is using new strategies to combat acute malnutrition in Niger.