After a recent typhoon caused severe flooding on the Philippine island of Mindanao, an MSF team is providing emergency medical assistance to people whose houses were destroyed and who are now living in evacuation centers.
In this issue of Alert, we share news and images of our response to the ongoing crisis in Somalia, where MSF has spent the summer trying to expand its services to meet the latest emergency to befall the country’s people.
A mother and child rest in the pediatric ward of MSF’s hospital in the Bicentenaire area of Port-au-Prince. Active in Haiti since 1991, MSF has opened five hospitals, including this one, and fought a widespread cholera epidemic in the country since a massive earthquake struck in January 2010.
MSF urges all parties in Somalia, neighboring countries, and the international community to improve assistance to the Somali population in the region and remove hurdles preventing the expansion of independent aid in Somalia.
In many hard-hit areas, MSF was the first international emergency organization to respond to the devastating floods that swept through Pakistan in late July 2010. Six months later, many of MSF's activities there have evolved.
At first, the flooding that began this past July in Pakistan was said to have affected tens of thousands of people in the northeast. Then the water began to spread south and west and the numbers grew. Hundreds of thousands were impacted, it was reported, then one million, then five million, then ten. Eventually, the number of people whose lives were uprooted reached an astonishing 20 million in all four of Pakistan’s provinces—Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK), Balochistan, Punjab, and Sindh—as well as the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Kashmir.
Following the release of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s report, Haiti One Year After: A Review of Médecins Sans Frontières Humanitarian Aid Operations, Dr. Unni Karunakara, MSF International President; Stefano Zannini, MSF Head of Mission in Haiti; and Kate Alberti, MSF Epidemiologist discuss the issues facing Haiti and MSF one year after the earthquake. Avril Benoit, Director of Communications for MSF Canada, moderates.
Medicins Sans Frontieres, or Doctors Without Borders, is an organization that sends medical professionals into war and disaster zones to provide victims with medical attention. Currently, the group has a major operation underway in Pakistan, where thousands of people have been displaced by devastating floods.
Barely hidden beneath the surface of Pakistan's worst flooding in living memory were the geopolitical stakes shaping both the justifications for official Western assistance and how aid was delivered to victims of the disaster. The perverse result may be a further restricting of the ability of humanitarian aid workers to assist the Pakistani population in the most volatile areas of the country.
Among the large scope of MSF activities in Haiti, as of May 31, more than $14.6 million has been spent on surgical care for Haitians injured in the earthquake. At least $5.3 million was spent on maternal health services.
Muzaffargarh, Pakistan — Sughra Ramzan knew something was wrong when strange pains began ripping through her stomach for the second time. The pregnant mother feared her baby was in trouble — but there was nothing she could do… Like Ramzan, tens of thousands of expectant moms were marooned by floods that have swallowed an area of Pakistan larger than Florida. Some 18 million people have been affected, 70 percent of them women and children, in the country's worst natural disaster.
More than 500,000 people have arrived in Sukkur. Reportedly, one out of every three people there is a newcomer seeking dry shelter anywhere; empty school buildings, streets, and even old railway lines are full of people who need food, medicine, and safe, clean water.
“We’d heard that there were a group of people around Khabula who were stuck and isolated. . . It took us more than two days to find them, driving around in 4x4 trucks, because the flooding has made it so difficult to get around."
The lack of resources to cope with the disaster is worrying aid organizations. The humanitarian agency Médecins San Frontières, or Doctors Without Borders, said in a statement that it was assessing health service needs in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Baluchistan Provinces.
Ten days after an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck central Chile, the MSF teams that have travelled through the affected areas are focusing their interventions on the most urgent needs: supporting health structures that are caring for large numbers of patients, re-establishing primary health care services, distributing basic necessities, and offering mental health assistance to the affected population.
The first members of an exploratory team from MSF have already arrived in Santiago, the capital city of Chile, in order to assess the needs of victims after an 8.8–magnitude earthquake struck the country early Saturday morning.
MSF is sending an exploratory team to assess the needs of the victims after an earthquake of 8.8 magnitude in the Richter Scale struck Chile early Saturday morning, causing serious damages in several areas of the country.
We were very lucky because we found a dialysis center at General Hospital. It was broken down—there was no water, there was no electricity because of the earthquake. But with the MSF logisticians we could restart it in 36 hours.
It hurts to see so many injured children and adults, some of them screaming in pain when the nurse changes the dressing on their wounds. They have suffered serious burns, broken arms, and deep cuts in the skull. They have infected wounded, gangrenous limbs—and the list goes on.
Yesterday I visited the MSF operation at Trinite Hospital. There was a small baby, about six weeks old, lying on her side in her bed because her right arm had been amputated and was covered in bandages. The auxiliary nurse told me her story. Sad and miraculous. She had been in the hospital when the earthquake hit. The building was partially destroyed. This tiny little girl fell through concrete floors and walls. Somehow, she survived and was rescued from the rubble. No one knows where her mother is, though. Chances are she doesn't have a family anymore.
Benoit Leduc, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) operations manager for Haiti, and Loris de Filippi, MSF operational coordinator in Port-au-Prince, participated in a teleconference with press regarding MSF's response to the January 12, 2010, earthquake.
MSF teams in Port-au-Prince are still under great pressure. While providing emergency care to as many people as possible, they are also searching for additional facilities that can serve as operating theaters and trying to get in more supplies. At the same time, MSF has been travelling to areas outside of the city and is about to extend the medical care to the people there.
Port-au-Prince/Paris /New York, 17 January 2009—Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) urges that its cargo planes carrying essential medical and surgical material be allowed to land in Port-au-Prince in order to treat thousands of wounded waiting for vital surgical operations. Priority must be given immediately to planes carrying lifesaving equipment and medical personnel.
"The situation remains critical. Few aid agencies are in place. Hundreds of bodies are still stuck in buildings. In the entire city, I've only seen about four or five trucks and cranes removing pieces of collapsed buildings so they can get the people out."
Surgical units set up by MSF in Port-au-Prince are working around the clock to treat the vast numbers of patients with injuries from Tuesday’s earthquake. Experienced MSF medical staff say they have never seen so many serious injuries.
Stefano Zannini, head of mission for Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Haiti, spoke at a January 15 press teleconference about MSF's activities in Haiti following the earthquake.
Right now we still are struggling to treat patents in very rough conditions. The biggest problem is not having medical structures where we can treat them. But we have been able to find an open space big enough for the inflatable hospital that should arrive tomorrow. So we will have a 100-bed hospital with surgical capacity operation before the end of next week.
Dr. Greg Elder is the deputy operations manager for MSF in Haiti. Here he provides an update on the situation on the ground in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 24 hours after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the country leaving tens of thousands wounded and unknown number of dead.
"We have three general areas where we have been traditionally providing emergency care with infrastructure established to set up and provide for emergency services. All of those three centers have been severely affected in the earthquake and none of them are in a condition that we can use. One has completely collapsed and two others are so structurally damaged we cannot use them."
The first reports are now emerging from MSF teams who were already working on medical projects Haiti and have treated hundreds of people injured in the quake. "The situation is chaotic," said one senior staff. "I visited five medical centers, including a major hospital, and most of them were not functioning."
Though its own facilities were severely damaged by the massive earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12, MSF field staff have been establishing temporary clinics in order to treat injured men, women, and children. MSF was able to respond immediately because international and national staff had already been running several projects in country.
On January 12, a magnitude 7.0 quake struck about 10 miles (15 kilometers) southwest of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. MSF teams on the ground have witnessed significant damage to its medical facilities, injuries to patients and staff, and an influx of wounded towards these hospitals in the capital.
In Pakistan, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing medical assistance to a vulnerable population suffering the effects of political instability, poor access to adequate health care, and natural disasters. Having been present in the country since 1988, today MSF largely focus its activities in the northwest of the country where armed conflict is raging on both sides of the border and millions of displaced remain in need of medical care.
During the weekend of November 6-9, a fierce storm struck El Salvador, triggering floods and mudslides that killed 150 people and displaced more than 13,000. The storm, which is unnamed, came only few days after Hurricane Ida churned along the Atlantic coast of Central America. Salvadorian authorities have declared a state of emergency in the regions affected and many communities have been isolated for days because of collapsed bridges.
Typhoon Mirinae hit the east coast of Quezon province in the Philippines on October 30, packing winds of 93 mph with gusts of up to 115 mph. Mirinae, also called Santi, brought heavy rain and floods to the area before weakening into a tropical storm and veering towards Vietnam. The Philippines has been hit hard this season, with Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma first causing havoc about a month ago.
Daisy Plana, a Philippine psychologist working for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), has been providing mental health support to victims of the violent earthquake that hit Sumatra, Indonesia, on September 30, 2009, in the rural areas around the coastal city of Pariaman.
On September 30, a massive earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, causing widespread destruction and triggering landslides that wiped out entire villages. According to the United Nations, an estimated 2.5 million people have been affected by the 7.6 magnitude quake, which killed 1,117 people in addition to injuring 1,214. One month later, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is still operating mobile clinics, giving mental health support to the survivors, monitoring epidemics, distributing relief items, as well as providing water and sanitation support.
In Manila and in the North of the Philippines, MSF teams continue to assist the most vulnerable people affected by Tropical Storm Ketsana and Typhoon Parma, which struck the country on September 26 and October 3, affecting over 8.4 million and causing 849 deaths.
As Typhoon Lupit is expected to make landfall on the Philippines on October 22 or 23, the northern part of the country is still trying hard to recuperate from recent weeks of heavy rain, which has caused floods and triggered devastating mudslides. On October 9, dozens of towns and villages in the province of Benguet were hit by mudslides that killed hundreds of people and buried settlements under a thick layer of mud. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is currently providing medical assistance and relief items to victims in the most affected areas in Pangasinan and Tarlac provinces and is assessing needs in Benguet.
Torrential and prolonged rains continue to flood new areas of the main Philippine island, Luzon. Mobile teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) are providing medical care and relief items to the most vulnerable people in remote and inaccessible areas where many have yet to receive any help.
Three days after a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck off the western coast of Sumatra Island, Indonesia, last week, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency teams arrived in the area and began to assess the medical and non-medical needs of the population.
More than a week after several natural disasters in the East Asia and South Pacific regions, MSF mental health staff are beginning to train local counselors, as well as give direct psychological support.
A week after a severe earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra, rescue operations are coming to an end and the search for survivors has been stepped down. However, relief operations will continue with a focus on assisting the thousands of people that have lost their homes and relatives and are now living in very harsh conditions.
A second severe storm hit the northern part of the Philippines on October 3, causing extensive material damage and killing 15 people. MSF has dispatched a team to conduct an assessment of the medical needs of the affected communities.
Three days after a powerful earthquake hit the Indonesian island of Sumatra—leaving close to 1,000 dead, approximately 3,000 missing, and more than 3,000 wounded—the first MSF teams arrived in the area.
It has begun raining again in the Philippines and another typhoon is forecast for this weekend. Tropical Storm Ketsana, which hit last Saturday, caused major flooding in and around the capital, Manila, displacing 140,000 people.
Several MSF emergency teams have already arrived or are en route to countries in East Asia after a succession of natural disasters in the region. In Indonesia, the Philippines, and Samoa islands, MSF will focus its activities on meeting unmet needs, from surgical care to distribution of relief items.
On September 26, the tropical storm Ketsana hit the northern Philippines, causing the death of 240 people and displacing 450,000, according to official reports. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has dispatched a team of medical and logistical staff to Rizal, near the capital of Manila, to assess areas affected by the flooding in order to decide how MSF can best provide support and emergency medical assistance.
About 10 inches of rain, roughly a quarter of the average annual rainfall, fell on Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso's capital, over 12 hours on September 1. The downpour created floods that destroyed more than 24,000 homes and displaced about 150,000 people—one in 10 of the country’s inhabitants.
Today I went to the third, and final, place where we are doing medical clinics, in the area of Dakshin Bedkashi. You really have to watch out for high tide, because you can only pass through certain places at low tide. Otherwise, where the pathway is broken, you have to go up to your chest through water with strong currents.
It is my third day here in Satkira District of Bangladesh. About six weeks ago, this place was inundated with water when Cyclone Aila hit and broke many levees in a region where people live at or below sea level. The result was much like Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.
Nearly two months after Cyclone Aila devastated East India and the coast of Bangladesh, the plight of survivors is no longer headline news. However, daily flooding is making their recovery almost impossible.
One month after cyclone Aila struck Bangladesh and the eastern Indian state of West Bengal, people continue to suffer from ongoing floods during high tide. Shelter, drinking water, food and sanitation are badly needed. People in remote areas have reportedly still not received any help.
On May 12, 2008, a devastating earthquake hit Sichuan province, leaving more than 80,000 dead and 10 million homeless. One year on, displaced people who lost their families, homes, and jobs in the quake are still suffering from psychological disorders and are in need of support to rebuild their lives. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been continuing psychological care to the earthquake victims.
On May 12, 2008, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck southwestern Sichuan Province in China, leaving more than 80,000 people dead and 370,000 people injured. The quake's epicenter was in Wenchuan, in the northwest of Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. Some 90,000 buildings collapsed and more than 10 million people left homeless. Up to 40 international staff and 16 national staff of Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have worked in affected areas providing relief materials, medical care, and psychological support. Today, MSF continues to offer psychological care to affected people in Sichuan.
On May 2 last year, Nargis Cyclone destroyed everything in its path in the south of Myanmar. It left behind 140,000 dead and missing, as well as immense damage. To help those who survived cope with their grief and suffering, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have been providing mental health support to populations in the Irrawaddy delta for the past 10 months.
A landslide hit a displaced persons’ camp in Masisi town, North Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on February 4, killing eight people. The majority of victims were young children; two were teenagers.
Some of the world’s leading photojournalists worked alongside our medical teams throughout 2008, documenting our work and following the lives of our patients and their communities. At the same time, some of our own staff captured unforgettable moments that we are pleased to include in this Year in Pictures issue of Alert, which brings together some of the most moving and telling photographs of the crises to which we responded in 2008.
Between August 16 and September 1, Haiti was ravaged by Tropical Storm Fay, Hurricane Gustav, Tropical Storm Hanna, and Hurricane Ike. On September 4, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency team of medical staff, logisticians, and water and sanitation experts began arriving in the northwestern city of Gonaïves, which had been particularly hard-hit.
On Wednesday, October 29, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team reached Ziarat, in the Balochistan region of Pakistan, the area most severely affected by an earthquake. MSF immediately set up a 24-hour clinic to treat wounded—mainly cuts and bruises. The team dispatched blankets, cooking sets, jerry cans, tents and body bags from emergency supply stocks in Islamabad. A large aftershock occurred Wednesday evening, when many people were attending funerals to bury their dead.
Early this morning, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières sent a team directly from the village Quetta to Ziarat in Balochistan, southwestern Pakistan, where reports are that this is the worst hit area. The region was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.2 on the Richter Scale.
For several weeks, MSF helped support the Rabouteau Health Center in Gonaives. It reopened a hospital in another part of town while also organizing water distribution. MSF continues to witness difficult situations and documents the stories of some of the people still forgotten weeks after the last storm.
GONAÏVES, October 13, 2008 – Five weeks after a series of hurricanes struck Haiti, people in the city of Gonaïves are still deprived of essential services, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today. Since early October, families have been evicted from schools and churches where they had sought refuge after the storms destroyed their homes.
Port-au-Prince/New York, October 3, 2008 — A month after the last tropical storms and hurricanes hit Haiti, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams have found a whole village completely submerged and its 2,400 remaining inhabitants stranded with no help.
"At the latest estimate, there were something like 60,000 people living without a house. All the bridges have collapsed around the town, and the roads are still impassable. Inside the town itself you can drive to some places, but to get to the town from outside is impossible—even big vehicles with caterpillar tracks can't get through."
While flood waters in Gonaives have mostly receded, some parts of the devastated town remain inaccessible and many people have not had access to healthcare, clean water, and food for 15 days. An MSF team continues to support the Rabouteau Health Center in Gonaives, where more than 1,000 consultations have been carried out to date.
Lionel, a 22-year-old carpenter, was at home on September 1 with his wife, who was seven months pregnant, in the Brale area in Gonaïves, Haiti. At about 11 p.m., the water started rising. As it began to spread under the bed, they knew they had to move. Within two hours, the water was four meters above ground level.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is responding the humanitarian needs brought about by a series of hurricanes and tropical that have struck Haiti. According to authorities, 25,000 to 30,000 houses were destroyed and up to 500 people have died nationwide. People have very little access to food and clean water, and major crops have been destroyed.
Two MSF teams have begun providing medical care to flood victims in the northeastern Indian state of Bihar, where it has also started conducting the first emergency relief distributions in various locations and displaced camps, as well as necessary assessments in the districts of Araria, Supaul, Purnia, and Madhepura.
An emergency relief team from Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) has reached the areas worst affected by the flooding in Bihar State, India. The team, including a logistician, a water-sanitation engineer, and a physician, are assessing the extent of the humanitarian needs in Araria and Purnea-Madhepura. The team has also brought supplies of non-food items for distribution to the affected population.
MSF continues to assist about 460,000 people in the Irrawaddy Delta. A total of 450 staff are working in Labutta, Ngapudaw, Bogaley, Setsu, and Pyapon areas. MSF has provided more than 66,000 medical consultations by end of July.
Many people are still experiencing a deep sense of loss, grief, and mourning after such a terrifying event. On the other hand, most of our patients are showing signs of recovery and we no longer come across emaciated patients who have not eaten for days, or those suffering from persistent sleep disturbances.
The need for clean water, food, shelter and medical assistance remain critical in the Irrawaddy Delta in Myanmar. More than one month later, MSF continues to come across people who have received no assistance. While the necessity of an immediate increase in emergency aid remains paramount, another issue has become increasingly apparent in the populations whom MSF assists—a significant level of psycho-social trauma.
One month after an 8.0-magnitude earthquake devastated China’s Sichuan province on May 12, MSF teams are continuing to give psychological support to the quake-affected population. Two teams of psychologists experienced in post-disaster trauma management have been providing advice and training to medical staff and have started a mental health program in sites for displaced people.
MSF was among the first organizations to provide large-scale assistance to victims of Cyclone Nargis. However, one month after it devastated the Irrawaddy delta in Myanmar, MSF teams are still encountering villages where survivors live in dire conditions and have not yet received any significant aid.
“In a large-scale disaster such as the Sichuan earthquake, you could find large unmet needs, says Tony Marchant, MSF's outgoing emergency coordinator in Chengdu, Sichuan Province. "But there are very few gaps; they are mainly in the fields of mental health, basic relief items, and shelter. MSF is trying to respond to these gaps.”
With an international conference of donor governments meeting over the weekend in Yangon, Myanmar, MSF Emergency Coordinator Jean-Sebastien Matte describes the needs that remain more than three weeks after Cyclone Nargis struck the country.
The Chinese government is now estimating that more than 5 million have been left homeless by the 8.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated parts of the country’s Sichuan province 12 days ago. A total of 34 MSF team members are now in the affected region and have been carrying out assessments, providing surgical and basic medical care, as well as mental health services, and donating tents and medicines to the relief effort. The local, regional, and national response has been enormous, but some of the needs, especially in the area of shelter, remain.
MSF now has more than 250 staff on the ground in Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta, with a total of 33 medical teams. MSF teams have reached around 120,000 people to provide medical and relief assistance. These teams have distributed at least 310 metric tons of rice, more than 84,000 cans of fish, 16,500 liters of cooking oil, and 13,500 plastic sheets for building shelters.
A week after a 7.9 magnitude earthquake killed a reported 32,000 and left up to 4.8 million people homeless in China’s southwestern Sichuan province, MSF has now provided over 210 tons of relief supplies as well as medical assistance to the survivors.
MSF teams have been assessing the immediate health needs in several affected areas of Sichuan. The results from the initial assessment indicate urgent needs for shelters, drinking water, medical and sanitation supplies. Most pharmacies in the area were destroyed by the quake, and people are facing a dire shortage of medicines. Therefore, MSF is planning to send medicine and medical supplies to Chengdu.
Yangon/Geneva/New York, May 16, 2008—Fourteen days after Cyclone Nargis hit Myanmar, the needs remain immense in the Irawaddy Delta. Teams with the international medical humanitarian organization MSF are delivering direct medical assistance and relief supplies to tens of thousands of people. However, MSF urges an immediate scale up of overall relief operations, which have been deployed far too slowly and are largely insufficient.
Two days after a powerful earthquake hit Sichuan Province in southwestern China, the confirmed death toll nears 15,000 and thousands of people remain trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings, according to provincial authorities.
More than one week after cyclone Nargis devastated the southwest areas of Myanmar, the first Cargo plane chartered by the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) arrived this morning in Yangon at 8:30 AM local time, loaded with 34 tons of medical and logistical material. After customs clearance, the goods have been transferred to MSF warehouses in the city.
Over the weekend, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières(MSF) sent 3 cargo planes from Europe with a total of 110 metric tons of relief supplies, including tents, medical material and drugs, pumps and generators for water and sanitation activities, and ready-to-use therapeutic food. The first plane is scheduled to arrive Monday morning local time. The MSF team will be on site to ensure delivery.
Geneva/Yangon, May 9, 2008—As the first MSF relief plane receives permission to land in Yangon tomorrow, Saturday, the international medical humanitarian organization has already intensified its emergency program. As MSF scales up, there is a need for more technical experts and further supplies in the coming days. MSF has staff in various countries awaiting visas, and several other planes of cargo ready to leave in the coming days, though these still need permission from authorities to land.
MSF teams are intensifying their response in some of the worst cyclone-affected areas of Myanmar’s (Burma) Irrawaddy Delta, by providing medical care, basic relief items and food, as well as improving access to clean water. A first cargo plane carrying 40 tons of relief supplies and medical materials is leaving Europe today for Yangon, Myanmar.
Geneva/New York, May 7, 2008 — Immediately after Cyclone Nargis hit several regions of Myanmar, teams in the country with MSF began assessing and responding to the needs of the population in Yangon and in neighboring areas. First assessments show that in the Daala and Twantey zones, south of Yangon and home to 300,000 people, 80 percent of buildings have been destroyed and some parts of the region are still flooded under one meter of water.
Three days after Cyclone Nargis affected several areas of Myanmar, causing the deaths of a reported 10,000 people and severe material damage, large parts of the population remain without drinking water, food, and shelter.
Due to difficult access to the isolated islands off the coast of Bangladesh, some communities have still received little aid. Maria Teresa de Magalahaes is part of the MSF emergency team sent to assess the situation and identify villages in need of assistance in the most remote areas of Barguna and Patuakhali districts.
Two MSF mobile clinics are now providing medical assistance to victims in Mathbaria. The teams have carried out more than 350 consultations in and around the villages of Sapelzehat (45,000 inhabitants) and Betemore (28,000 inhabitants), so far. The medical teams have been treating cases of diarrhea, upper respiratory infections, skin and eyes infections, as well as minor open wounds.
Cyclone Sidr, which struck southern Bangladesh on November 15, killed more than 3,000 people and made hundreds of thousands homeless, according to the latest figures from the government of Bangladesh. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is providing assistance to victims in the most remote areas.
Flooding in the state of Tabasco, in southeast Mexico, has seriously affected 328,500 people. MSF is distributing hygiene kits in the city of Nacajuca and conducting medical consultations in the Frontera region.
When Sumatra, Indonesia, was hit by successive earthquakes on September 12 and 13, populations on the remote Mentawai islands, some 90 miles off Sumatra's west coast, were also devastated, but reaching them was extremely challenging. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has now delivered 20 tons of relief materials, including plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, and blankets, for 2,000 to 3,000 families in Pagai Utara and Pagai Selatan, on the west side of the islands.
In Peru, 25 MSF staff, both Peruvian and international, are working together to provide assistance to the people affected by the earthquake. MSF activities are focusing on mental health, medical care, distribution of relief items, and water and sanitation. Teams are working in the city of Pisco, in more remote areas to the east, and now in the southeast, in Guadalupe.
A cargo plane with 12 tons of relief supplies has arrived in the area affected by the earthquake allowing the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team in the Pisco region to start offering medical care to victims.
August 16, 2007 – In the evening of Wednesday, August 15, the Peruvian coast was hit by a powerful earthquake (8.0-magnitude on the Richter scale). According to local sources, more than 500 people were killed and 1,000 were injured. The most affected cities are Chincha, Pisco, and Ica, located around 200 km south of the capital, Lima.
Luis Encinas, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency coordinator, is managing the intervention to provide care to those affected by the earthquake that hit Peru's southern coast on August 15. Three days after the disaster, MSF chartered a cargo plane, loaded it with 12 tons of relief materials, and flew into Peru. Encinas, who has been on the ground for a few days, gives an account of MSF activities.
Mopeia/Geneva, March 8, 2007 – An estimated 136,000 people have been displaced in Mozambique due to floods that affected the provinces surrounding the Zambezi river at the end of January 2007. Despite optimism over the initial aid response, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) expresses concern over the health situation of flood victims in Zambezia Province. MSF calls on the Mozambican government and humanitarian aid groups to urgently step up their interventions to ensure that food and non-food relief supplies reach the thousands of families affected by the floods.
On January 4, eight new suspected cases of Rift Valley Fever were discovered by Doctors Without/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams in the Ijara District in the North-Eastern Province of Kenya. "The great majority of people infected just suffer from headaches and influenza-like symptoms reminiscent of malaria," explains MSF emergency coordinator Dr. Ian Vanenglegem, "but the severe form, like other hemorrhagic diseases, attacks the liver and can cause the patient to bleed from every orifice. There is no cure, so we are only able to treat the symptoms."
Heavy rains in the last few weeks have caused flooding of the Juba and Shebelle rivers in southern Somalia, bringing devastation to much of the riverside areas, and highly increasing the needs in one of the most densely populated regions in the country.
Nairobi, November 22, 2006 - Heavy rains over the last few weeks have caused flooding of the Juba and Shebelle rivers in southern Somalia, bringing devastation to much of the surrounding areas and aggravating humanitarian needs in one of the most densely populated regions in the country. Thousands of families have seen their homes destroyed and thousands more are displaced, including hundreds of families trapped in pockets of higher ground.
Since mid-July, cholera has emerged in various areas in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Though the number of patients with cholera is decreasing in some areas, in other areas the number of infections is rising.
MSF intervention following the May 2 earthquake has focused on complementing the rapidly deployed local emergency response by providing surgery, post-operative care, and physiotherapy in order to help people recover from their wounds and regain their autonomy as quickly as possible.
Six days after a 6.3-magnitude earthquake hit the island of Java in Indonesia, the latest official figures for the number of wounded has doubled to just over 46,000, with more than 30,000 people suffering from serious trauma.
On Saturday, May 27, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook Java island in Indonesia. According to UN agencies, the earthquake left more than 5,000 people dead, an estimated 20,000 injured, and some 200,000 homeless. The epicenter has been reported close to the town of Bantul (two hours by car from Yogyakarta). The most affected areas are Bantul, Yogyakarta, and Klaten. Since Saturday, there have been more than 450 aftershocks and about 35,000 buildings in and around Yogyakarta have been reduced to rubble.
MSF medical teams have carried out more than 116,000 medical and mental health consultations since the earthquake that struck Pakistani- and Indian-administered Kashmir on October 8, 2005. In the aftermath, surgical teams performed more than 4,000 major and minor surgeries and provided physiotherapy for nearly 10,000 injured people.
After several weeks of dry weather, the start of severe winter weather brought sleet and icy rain to Muzaffarabad, Bagh, and Mansehra districts and up to five feet of snow at higher altitudes. Many roads were blocked by landslides and snow. In some places, road access will be difficult or impossible in the coming weeks and months.
In October 2005, tens of thousands of people throughout Central America lost their homes, livelihoods, and access to clean water when Tropical Storm Stan struck the region. Laurent Dedieu, Logistics Supervisor for MSF-USA, oversaw MSF's emergency assistance program in Guatemala's Chinquimulilla region, Santa Rosa department.
More than 120 international staff, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychologists, social workers, logisticians, water and sanitation experts, together with over 350 local staff, are involved with MSF's earthquake relief operations in Pakistan. The organization has already delivered more than 1,155 tons of relief goods to Pakistan.
By the end of 2005, MSF will have used 90.1 million euros, or 82% of the tsunami donations, to fund its operations in the Tsunami region (M€ 24.7) and to meet urgent needs in other emergencies and forgotten crises (M€ 65.4) such as the nutritional crisis in Niger, the conflict in Darfur and the earthquake in Pakistan.
More than 120 international staff, including doctors, nurses, surgeons, psychologists, social workers, logisticians, water and sanitation experts, together with over 350 local staff, are involved with MSF's earthquake relief operations in Pakistan.
Temperatures are dropping and the first snowfalls have been recorded in mountain villages of the region affected by the earthquake. Therefore, the most urgent issue is still to provide shelter to thousands of homeless in remote villages before winter strikes.
A major setback for MSF operations is the difficulty to transport and distribute material. A large part of the population is dispersed in a mountainous region, where access is difficult and in some cases impossible.
Francisco Diaz, director of Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) logistics department in Paris, went to Guatemala to work with the MSF teams responding to Tropical Storm Stan. Here he speaks about the conditions he found and MSF's response.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams are treating hundreds of severely wounded people each day in 16 hard-hit locations in Pakistan-administered Kashmir and the country's North-West Frontier Province, and making all efforts to reach more remote villages every day.
Less than a week after the Asian earthquake of October 8, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) began to offer psychosocial care to traumatized survivors in northern Pakistan, the area worst hit by the disaster. Marise Denault, an MSF social worker and mental health specialist, explains the situation.
"From their eyes, you can see how disturbed the children are," says Silke Krmer, a surgeon with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Muzaffarabad, Pakistan, one week after the earthquake. The German surgeon has been providing emergency aid here for four days now and has been distressed by the number of wounded children.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is increasing its aid operations to remote villages that have been cut off by landslides and buckled roads in Pakistani-administered Kashmir and the country's North Western Frontier Province. MSF is currently assisting thousands of people in 16 locations in Pakistan.
Ten days after Tropical Storm Stan hit Guatemala and El Salvador Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams have conducted assessments by land and helicopter covering most of the affected areas. Nearly 70 international and national staff are now assisting Guatemalans affected by the flooding and landslides.
MSF medical teams are operating in both the Pakistani- and Indian-administered areas of Kashmir to assist victims of last Saturday's earthquake. Almost 80 international aid workers are working alongside dozens of national staff to provide medical assistance, mental health counseling, and relief and medical supplies to some of the hardest-hit areas.
MSF has dispatched more than 60 international and national staff to assist Guatemalans affected by the flooding and landslides caused by Tropical Storm Stan. MSF is now providing relief in the most-affected areas of the country and has made donations of first-aid kits and potable water. Teams are working in the Retaluhleu, Escuintla, San Marcos, Santa Rosa, and Solola departments, and Coatepeque city.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams are operating in both the Pakistani- and Indian-administered areas of Kashmir to assist victims of last Saturday's earthquake. Almost 80 international aid workers will be working alongside dozens of national staff to provide medical assistance, mental health counseling, and relief and medical supplies to some of the hardest-hit areas.
Islamabad, 10 October 2005 – The international medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started to provide medical assistance and relief goods to the victims of last Saturday's earthquake in Pakistan and India. In the Pakistani and Indian controlled sides of Kashmir, MSF teams are focusing on medical assistance, mental health counseling, and the distribution of relief and medical supplies to assist the existing response.
"Immediately after the earthquake our team in India-controlled Kashmir set off to try and reach the most severely affected regions," says Hans van de Weerd, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) country coordinator in New Delhi, India. Both the Indian and the Pakistani regions of Kashmir were affected by last Saturday's earthquake. MSF is running a psychosocial program in the Indian region of Kashmir.
Days after an enormous tsunami battered parts of South Asia on 26 December 2004, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams began working alongside national efforts to provide assistance to individuals in need of medical care, food, clean water, shelter and other basic necessities.
On Friday, September 2, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team made up of two physicians, a nurse, and two logisticians headed to the Gulf Coast region of the United States to directly assess the unmet emergency medical needs following the disaster. Dr. Darin Portnoy, MSF-USA president, was part of the assessment team that traveled to Louisiana. He describes what the team saw and why, for the time being, MSF has decided not to begin relief operations in the region.
Six months have passed since an enormous tsunami hit parts of South Asia, leaving behind a horrifying trail of destruction and suffering. Within days of the December 26, 2004 disaster, MSF teams began working alongside national efforts to provide assistance to individuals in need of medical care, food, clean water, shelter, and other basic necessities.
To date, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has sent more than 60 international aid workers and 200 tons of relief materials to provide assistance to people affected by the earthquake and resulting tsunami in South Asia.
More than a month after floods killed thousands and left nearly 200,000 people homeless in Haiti's city of Gonaives, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams are now performing over 900 consultations each day.
Port-au-Prince, September 22, 2004 - Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has mobilized to assist people overwhelmed by severe flooding in the city of Gonaives, on Haiti's northwest coast.
Following heavy rainfalls last Sunday, villages in the border region between Haiti and the Dominican Republic were inundated. The heaviest flooding occurred early Monday morning, surprising people in their sleep. Many did not have the chance to escape.
March 1, 2004 - More than 550 people died and thousands were made homeless when an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale ripped through Al Houceima, Morocco on February 24. The quake razed buildings as far 10 miles away. Repeated aftershocks have continued to affect both the city itself and outlying villages in the surrounding mountains.
Bam is a city in ruins. A city where survivors have a blank look in their eyes, hit by the harsh reality where all that remains are outlines of a few buildings, houses—and, at their feet the few family members who survived this collective nightmare.
When a massive earthquake struck the Indian state of Gujarat on January 26, 2001, MSF was ready to take action. An assessment team arrived on site the next day, and by February 5, MSF had flown in several medical teams and a total of 80 tons of relief supplies. The initial priority was first aid and surgical care for those injured.
Doctors Without Borders is approved by the Internal Revenue Service as a 501 (C) (3) tax-exempt organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent provided by law. Doctors Without Borders Federal Identification Number (EIN) is 13-3433452.