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April 18, 2013

On April 1, 2013, a landmark ruling by India's Supreme Court ensured continued access to affordable HIV medication for the millions affected by this disease, including the 220,000 patients that Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) treats with generic HIV/AIDS medication. This access has been under threat for the past seven years by pharmaceutical company Novartis, which challenged a section of India's Patents Act that prevented the practice of "evergreening," or extending the patent of an existing medicine by modifying it slightly. By extending patents, pharmaceutical companies prevent the manufacture of generic drugs. The ruling by India's Supreme Court is a victory for those fighting for access to affordable medicine—at least, for the time being.

April 18, 2013

After years of war, Chechnya's health system is failing. Its citizens are falling victim to noncommunicable diseases antagonized by bad habits, such as smoking and poor diet, not to mention the stress of living in a war zone. As a result, two thirds of deaths in the country are caused by cardiovascular disease. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) works in Grozny's Republican Emergency Hospital, where today there is hope: in the hospital's cardiology unit, new equipment is helping to improve the health of Chechens. Oxygen concentrators, defibrillators and electro cardiographs have reduced the unit's mortality rate by over 75 percent, according to staff there, who treated more than 1,500 patients in just one year.

April 18, 2013

The autonomous island of Bougainville is slowly emerging from decades of conflict. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) set up medical facilities in Buin, a remote village in the south of the island, in June 2011. Admissions to the maternity unit, have steadily increased since the project's inception. Expectant mothers are referred by small clinics in the area. They spend several days here before giving birth to avoid traveling on rough roads during labor. MSF is also supporting an awareness-raising campaign to teach women about a new program for victims of sexual violence. Up until now, there has been no such treatment available in Bougainville.

April 18, 2013

The report "Trapped at the Gates of Europe" raises the alarm about the situation of Sub-Saharan migrants in Morocco. Sub-Saharan migrants making their way to Europe often find themselves trapped in this country, and as EU border nations step up their combat against illegal immigration, the migrants' living conditions worsen. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) staff observed an escalation in intentional violence, and increased numbers of patients abused by Moroccan security forces and sometimes by Spanish security forces. The report also looks at sexual violence endured by female migrants. In the past two years, MSF has treated 700 victims who receive no assistance or protection from the authorities. In spite of the violence, migrants' access to healthcare has somewhat improved, notes the report. With human rights now the number one priority among advocates, MSF has handed over its activities to specialist organizations.

April 11, 2013

The high number of Syrians registering as refugees at the Domeez camp, near the city of Dohuk in the Kurdish region of Iraq, has overstretched the camp's capacity. Domeez camp was established in April 2012 and was initially designed to host 1,000 families. The population in the camp has now risen above 35,000 people, however. Despite the efforts of the local authorities, the level of assistance is clearly insufficient, and aid workers are struggling to keep up with the needs of all the residents. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing thousands of medical consultations every day, has supplied families with water and hygiene kits, and is planning a measles vaccination campaign.

March 13, 2013

The population of Kabul has tripled over the last 10 years. Some people arrive after fleeing conflict-torn areas for the relative safety of the capital, while others, pushed by poverty, are simply trying to make a living. Returnees from Pakistan and other provinces of Afghanistan have also made their way back to the city. For those living in makeshift settlements and camps, the harsh winter makes an already difficult situation even harder. In January 2013, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) started running mobile clinics and nutritional screenings in six locations where hundreds of Afghans have settled.

March 05, 2013

After two years of conflict, people in Syria are living through a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been able to open three hospitals in the north of the country. Medical teams provide emergency and surgical care, as well as primary health care consultations and maternal care. MSF teams have performed more than 1,300 surgical operations and provided 16,000 consultations inside Syria.

March 05, 2013

Meet some of the more than 120,000 Syrian refugees living in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon while their country is at war. Families are living in camps, unfinished houses, and abandoned buildings; most are not getting adequate aid.

February 19, 2013

Liberian project coordinator Toe Jackson describes how his MSF team brought much-needed medical care to conflict-ridden Timbuktu, Mali.

February 13, 2013

The conflict in Syria has forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their country for neighboring Lebanon. According to a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) study conducted in May 2012, over half of the refugees are living in unsanitary conditions with no access to desperately needed medical care. MSF teams working in Tripoli and the Bekaa Valley are providing refugees with free health care and distributing supplies, but the medical facilities are often overwhelmed. MSF continues to ramp up its activities in the country.

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