Just across the Somali border lies a complex of overcrowded refugee camps filled with shelters made of twigs, reeds, and whatever scraps inhabitants can find. Each month, about 5,000 new people arrive at the camps, and must carve out space outside the official boundaries. Without access to adequate shelter, food, clean water and sanitation, they are exposed and vulnerable.
Treating children with HIV goes beyond putting them on medication. Patient support specifically targeted to children helps motivate them to stick with their treatment regimen. But there has yet to be a scientific study to help determine the best practices for providing this support.
In Kenya, more than 22,000 children were infected with HIV in 2009. The district of Homa Bay, in rural western Kenya, has the country’s highest HIV prevalence rate. MSF is working to stop the spread of the disease in Homa Bay with its prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) program.
Generic versions of antiretrovirals, or ARVs, that cost a fraction of the price of brand medicines make it possible for MSF to treat 160,000 people living with HIV around the world. Eighty percent of the ARVs we use come from India, and millions of others in developing countries depend on India-made generics as well. But the European Commission has begun directing its trade policies in a way that could stamp out the production of lifesaving generics in India. MSF has launched a global public campaign to tell Europe to back off, and to honor its commitments to global health.
In Papua New Guinea, nearly 70 percent of women say they've been physically abused by their husbands. When this kind of violence is so widespread, what kind of a difference can a small MSF project make?
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.
The Kashmir Valley has been in the midst of increasing civil unrest since June. Violent, deadly clashes between protestors and security forces have led to strict 24-hour curfews and an even more pronounced military presence on the streets, the combination of which has kept people from accessing much-needed mental health care. MSF has been providing psychological care in Kashmir since 2002 and since June the team has had to adjust its strategy to in order to reach those who need help the most.
In Mathare, a poor area on the outskirts of Nairobi, MSF treats children with TB, but just diagnosing them is extremely challenging. Results of the lack of research into TB means the main diagnostic tool for the adult form of the disease is 130 years old and not at all adapted for use with children.