Their reality is grim – the thousands of migrants and refugees existing on the margins in South Africa. They lack access to proper health care and shelter and face physical and verbal abuse, police harassment and xenophobic attacks. For these migrants, proper legal status is often difficult to obtain, if not impossible. Gangs prey on them when they cross the border into South Africa and in the derelict buildings where they find temporary housing. As a result, many face further threats living in dangerous conditions, particularly in Johannesburg. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing health care to these vulnerable people in Musina, a town on the border with Zimbabwe, and in Johannesburg.
After five years working in the maternity ward of the only hospital of its kind in Choco department, Colombia, MSF is handing over the ward to the hospital. MSF succeeded in increasing the quality and volume of activities and reducing maternal mortality. There is a commitment from the hospital to continue with the services MSF has implemented.
This slideshow is narrated by an MSF communications officer, who also took the photographs during a two-week visit to Haiti in March, 2010. He accompanied MSF field staff on assessments of living conditions in makeshift camps where people had been living without basic assistance. A smaller version of this slideshow is available for embedding on blogs. Also available on YouTube.
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.
MSF staff try to meet the medical needs of huge numbers of severely injured patients, while patients try to cope with grim reality. Photographs by Ron Haviv were taken at MSF's damaged La Trinité trauma hospital in Port-au-Prince.