Before the opening of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) surgical hospital in Kunduz Province, northern Afghanistan, people in the region suffering from severe injuries had two options. They made the long and dangerous journey to Kabul or Pakistan, or they visited an expensive private clinic. As a result, few patients received the trauma care they needed.
Chagas is a neglected disease that affects between eight and ten million people, mainly in Latin America. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in Paraguay's rural Chaco region, going into isolated communities to educate people about the disease and screen them for it. Internationally, MSF fights to improve access to diagnosis and treatment for the disease and advocates for more research and development into its treatment.
In November 2011, MSF staff in the Central African Republic held a sleeping sickness screening near Maitikoulou, in the northwest region of the country. Sleeping sickness, or human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), is a neglected infectious disease that is often fatal, affecting humans and animals in tropical areas of Africa.
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.