People in Abyei live on the frontlines of an ongoing battle for control. New clashes that began on May 20 have pushed thousands from their homes and made them even more vulnerable to medical complications.
Female genital cutting, or FGC, is the practice of surgically removing part or all of a girl’s or woman’s external genitalia. It has a number of negative physical and psychological effects, and in the worst cases can lead to death through severe bleeding. MSF arrived in the Tagadom area of Red Sea State in 2006 to raise awareness about the medical effects of FGC and to offer high-quality, free-of-charge maternity services. First, however, the teams had to begin a very difficult, and ultimately very rewarding process of talking about these and other taboo subjects.
Today, the southern region of Sudan is confronted by constant emergencies: malnutrition is chronic, violence continues to destroy lives and displace the population, and preventable diseases are relentless killers. More than 75 percent of the population has still no access to any form of basic healthcare. In addition to providing a range of medical services in 13 states of Sudan, at this moment MSF is battling to contain the biggest kala azar outbreak in eight years. And, as Sudan is heading towards a referendum on January 9th, MSF teams are preparing for any needs that might arise in addition to the ongoing medical challenges. If emergency needs soar, whether through violence, displacement or outbreak of diseases, MSF needs to be ready.
In this edition, listen to stories on an MSF study on predicting and responding to measles outbreaks in the West African nation of Niger, how a South African mother and her baby daughter fought to survive a deadly form of tuberculosis, and how thousands are still waiting for the promises of peace in southern Sudan.
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.
Listen to reports on the ongoing violence along the Chad-Sudan border and MSF's response to an epidemic of meningitis in northern Uganda. In addition, a story on the global vaccine shortage for meningitis.
In this edition, a story on the humanitarian situation in Darfur, Sudan, an interview with MSF's international council president on the war-torn region, and a report on the mounting human toll of drug-resistant tuberculosis.