In the former Soviet bloc country of Kyrgyzstan, MSF has been supporting TB care for prisoners since 2005. The aim is to reduce transmission of TB and treat those who have it. But working within the penitentiary system, which has proven to be a fertile breeding ground for the disease, presents some major challenges.
Somali refugees escaping the conflict in their country continue to arrive en masse in Dadaab, Kenya. Three camps now hold close to four times the number of people they were built for; collectively they form one of the largest refugee camps in the word. And yet newly arrived families can no longer get inside.
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.
New research has proved conclusively that treatment of HIV can reduce the transmission of the disease from one person to another by 96 percent. In other words, HIV treatment is also HIV prevention. The UN Summit on HIV/AIDS starts on June 8 and officials will decide on a blueprint for the next decade of the global response to the epidemic. Will global leaders act now to save millions of lives and prevent millions of new infections?
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.
More than 27,000 migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers have arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa since fighting began in Tunisia and Libya earlier this year. When they arrive, often after fleeing for their lives, they face appalling conditions. MSF has called once again on the Italian government to provide humane conditions for people escaping violence and abuse.
Chronic violence and neglect in parts of northeastern Uganda's Karamoja region means 70 percent of the population has no access to any kind of health care. This affects women the most - maternal mortality rates here are 75 percent higher than the national average. MSF goals in Karamoja's Kaabong district are to strengthen government health services and to reach people who otherwise can't get to health facilities.
For centuries, the drug quinine has been used to treat malaria, a disease that kills close to one million people a year. But now, there’s a new drug - called artesunate - that is more effective, and far simpler and safer to administer than quinine. The WHO has just revised its guidelines calling for artesunate as the treatment of choice for children with severe malaria. Now the international community needs to get behind it.
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.
From the onset of the violence in Libya in February, MSF has been working to assist people in areas with the greatest medical needs—in and around the city of Benghazi in the east and in Misrata in the west. Teams are also on the Tunisian border providing support to people who have fled the conflict.