Bihar State, in northeastern India, is a major epicenter of the parasitic disease visceral leishmaniasis—also known as kala azar. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in Bihar’s Vaishali district to treat this complicated and deadly disease.
Huge numbers of Somalis have left the country’s central regions to seek refuge in the capital, Mogadishu, since July. They have had to leave due to poor agricultural production, loss of livestock because of drought, increasing prices, and perpetual insecurity. Once they reach Mogadishu, however, they are vulnerable to a host of health problems.
Photographer Sven Torfinn recently visited Galcayo, a divided town in Somalia where MSF is working to deliver desperately-needed health care amid drought and malnutrition exacerbated by years of conflict.
A cholera epidemic is rapidly spreading along the Congo River in western Democratic Republic of Congo. The disease is affecting towns and villages along the waterway, which is the population's main mode of transportation. More than 250 people had died as a result of the disease by July 21, and the epidemic is expected to soon reach the country's crowded capital, Kinshasa.
South Sudan is set to be officially recognized as an independent nation on July 9, 2011. But hundreds of thousands of newly displaced people in the world’s newest country are facing emergency needs.
In May, violence between northern Sudan and South Sudan forces in the contested border region of Abyei pushed some 100,000 people from their homes. Many saw family members killed during heavy bombardments and military ambushes. Some people, terrified of the violence, traveled as far as 10 days from home seeking safety.
The violent conflict set off by former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to step down after his electoral defeat morphed into several months of intense fighting between different groups. While it has abated to a certain extent, many of the people who fled their homes are not returning. They fear the conflict could flare up again or have nothing to return to, because their homes and fields were burned.
The three refugee camps run by the office of the United Nations High Commissoner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Dadaab, Kenya, 50 miles from Somalia, are full. But more and more people arrive here every day. An extension to one of the camps could provide a temporary solution to providing shelter for new arrivals who now must create shelters from nothing in the barren desert. But the extension lies half-built and empty due to a breakdown in negotiations between the Kenyan authorities and the UNHCR. So the new arrivals remain in the desert with nowhere to go.