Opened in August 2011, the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, was the only facility of its kind in the region, providing free life- and limb-saving medical care to tens of thousands of people. In 2014, more than 22,000 patients received care at the hospital, and more than 5,900 surgeries were performed.
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.
Usually the result of complications during delivery, a fistula is an opening between the bladder and the vagina, or between the rectum and the vagina. Women become incontinent, and are often shunned from their societies and families as a result. They can also suffer additional medical consequences. In 2010, MSF teams operated on and treated about 1,000 women suffering from fistulas, in permanent structures and in "fistula camps." In November, MSF ran a fistula camp in Boguila, western Central African Republic.
While documenting the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti, photographer Nicola Vigilanti met a brave young girl named Mirlanda who was receiving physiotherapy and post-operative care for her quake-related injuries at MSF's Saint Louis Hospital. Mirlanda's inspiring struggle for recovery is just one story from the many thousands of Haitians in the rehabilitation process.
This is the Clerge family, one of many families struggling to survive in Haiti after the January 12 earthquake devastated their lives as well as their homes. MSF continues to provide medical care at about 20 locations in and around Port-au-Prince.
Paul McMaster, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) surgeon, describes what he and his team have seen and done since they arrived in Port-au-Prince to bring emergency medical care to earthquake survivors on January 15.