In a speech to the United Nations member states at the beginning of September, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International President Joanne Liu cited the failure of the current strategy for combatting Ebola. No organization is equipped to deal with for the explosion in the number of cases, the dozens of infected health workers, and collapse of the affected countries’ health systems.
Doctors working in refugee camps know all too well that epidemics spread rapidly in settings like these and that more emergency immunization campaigns are needed to prevent them. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) wants to make pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV), which can prevent deadly diseases, systematically available in emergency settings.
Escaping conflict or famine, scores of South Sudanese arrive daily in refugee camps in Ethiopia. Some of these people may be carrying the cholera bacterium which has ravaged South Sudan in the last few months. With the rains regularly flooding the camps and the lack of sanitation installations, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) fears the slightest outbreak of the disease, and teams have launched a preventative vaccination campaign in the camps and surrounding villages.
Sierra Leone has been hit the hardest with over 450 confirmed cases of Ebola at the beginning of August. In Kailahun, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is running a 64 bed treatment center. Despite the lack of a cure for the virus, doctors are able to treat the symptoms of the disease: diarrhea, vomiting, and high fever. A psychologist is also working with patients and their families.
As the Israeli offensive continues in Gaza, clashes in the West Bank, on top of several weeks of raids and arrests by Israeli forces, are taking a heavy toll on the already fragile psychological well being of Palestinians. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) launched an emergency response in mid-June and has carried out 1,146 mental health consultations for those affected by the violence since then.
The Ebola outbreak in West Africa has killed more than 670 people and spread to four countries. Among those now infected are two American aid workers and the lead Ebola doctor in Sierra Leone. Gwen Ifill interviews Dr. Estrella Lasry of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) about factors, including fear and hostility, that are hindering efforts to stop the outbreak.
Sasobas Temé Sadnou is a survivor of the deadly Ebola disease outbreak in West Africa. He was treated by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and has recovered, but many do not. Here he speaks about his experience.