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.
On May 26, a suicide bomber killed 36 people and wounded approximately 60 more near a police station in northwestern Pakistan’s Hangu district, just a few blocks from the hospital where MSF’s team lives and works.
In November 2010, Ivory Coast held elections during which President Laurent Gbagbo was defeated at the polls. Gbagbo refused to accept the results, leading to months of fierce fighting between his supporters and the supporters of the election’s winner, Alassana Outarra.
Doctors and other hospital staff in Libya are highly dedicated, but there is a lack of inpatient capacity in all areas of care. MSF is helping to fill the gaps in surgery, obstetrics, and neonatal care.
This past January, the people of southern Sudan voted overwhelmingly for independence, and in July the world will see the birth of a new country. It will be a country that faces enormous challenges—not least the urgent medical and humanitarian needs of millions of people.
"The fighters escorting the patients have now overrun the hospital. They are from the northern part of the country. They don't know us and they are better trained than the local militias, but they don't have any greater respect for us."
Even a quick glance at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins San Frontières (MSF) updates from Somalia over the past two years shows that the country’s conflict remains as relentless as ever. February 25, 2009: “121 wounded in 24 hours”; June 2, 2009: “218 treated over two weeks”; January 20, 2010: “111 wounded in 3-day period”: February 3, 2010: 89 treated, including 66 women and children, in Mogadishu.
Dr. Philippe Touchard, an anesthetist, is head of emergencies at the Pasteur Hospital in Langon, near Bordeaux. Forty-eight hours after the January 12 earthquake, he flew to Haiti to reinforce MSF’s surgical teams in Port-au-Prince. Here are exerpts of his journal of this short mission.
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.
A year after the Israeli military's Operation Cast Lead was launched in the Gaza Strip, civilians are still deeply affected. Here are the stories of some of the patients Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated since the incursion.
In the central Somali city of Galkayo, Dr. Abdullahi Adan Mohamoud is working for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to provide health care to a vulnerable population trapped in a conflict-ridden and divided city. In this interview, he explains about the medical work needs in Galkayo and about working as a surgeon in Somalia.
Intense fighting among various armed groups claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians and displaced thousands more in Somalia in the first half of 2009. The town of Jamaame, in a remote area of southern Somalia’s Lower Juba region, is one area where MSF has been able to provide ongoing medical services.
On August 19, two attacks in Baghdad killed 95 people and wounded nearly 600. These two particularly deadly attacks were a startling reminder of the violence borne by the Iraqi people since the start of the war.
In December 2008, 20 Somali students overcame huge odds and graduated from medical school in Mogadishu—the first batch to do so for almost two decades in the failed Horn of Africa state. Dr. Hafsa Abdurrahman Mohamed, 26, was one of those receiving a diploma from the capital’s Benadir University. This is her story.
MSF, Ministry of Health doctors and nurses, and Red Cross Society volunteers quietly move from patient to patient housed under six temporary structures. Most of the patients have several dressings that need to be changed regularly. In a small room in the hospital, MSF surgeons and anesthetists carry out surgical procedures such as skin grafts and wound closures.
Despite ongoing conflict that has made it difficult for humanitarian organizations to be in Iraq, since 2006 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has set up medical projects for populations in Anbar, Tameen, Ninewa, Sulemaniya, Baghdad, and Basra. MSF also runs a project in Jordan for Iraqi war wounded. Khalil Sayyad recently returned from Basra, southern Iraq, where he worked as Field Coordinator for nine months. He was part of MSF's first international team to establish a presence in Iraq since 2004, when high insecurity led MSF to leave country.
During the first two weeks of March, relatively few people seem to have been able to flee from the conflict-affected Vanni area in northern Sri Lanka. Communication with people inside the Vanni remains incredibly difficult, but accounts given by people who have managed to escape in recent days confirm that civilians remain trapped by the conflict and that it is practically impossible for them to leave as they risk being shot at.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been equipped for more than three years with inflatable tents enabling rapidly and adaptable set-ups of operating suites, intensive care units, and hospital beds. Injured patients in Gaza City who require specialized or follow-up surgical procedures are admitted to such a temporary hospital. Dr. Mego Terzian, MSF deputy coordinator for emergency programs explains more.
MSF medical teams began carrying out specialized surgical procedures today in inflatable structures put up by MSF late last week in Gaza City. The two hospital tents include operating theaters and a 12-bed, post-surgery recovery and post-operative care unit.
An MSF surgical team and other personnel entered the Gaza Strip today to provide essential surgical services to people seriously wounded during the last three weeks of intense fighting between Israeli forces and Hamas.
In 2007 a group of 11 women suffering from vesico-vaginal (VVF) fistulas approached MSF nurse Esther Moring and her medical team in eastern Chad, asking for treatment. In order to help those women and countless others with fistulas in eastern Chad, Moring and an MSF team initiated a pilot fistula surgery program. Here, Moring describes what fistulas are and why starting this project was so important.
Since fighting broke out in and around the town of Kiwanja on November 5th and 6th, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) surgical teams have treated more than 50 wounded people in the MSF-supported hospital in the neighboring town of Rutshuru. Thousands of people who have fled the fighting in Kiwanja have sought shelter on the road between the two towns, in churches, and even inside Rutshuru hospital. Thierry Allafort, Emergency Coordinator, describes the situation in Rutshuru.
In early January, Dr. Gary Myers, a surgeon from Oklahoma, from dispatched to Eldoret, in western Kenya, to support the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team responding to post-election violence. He describes his experience working in the surgical department of Eldoret Hospital.
The Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team in Masisi in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province is comprised of 100 Congolese and 5 international staff, works in the 120-bed hospital and a health center. They offer surgical care to war-wounded, as well as general health care and nutritional support to displaced people and the local population. Anne Khoudiacoff, 29, is a Belgian nurse who arrived in DRC in early October. Here she describes her work.
On April 17, 2007 MSF launched an emergency medical response in Afgooye, Lower Shabelle Region, about 30 kilometers west of Mogadishu. Due to insecurity in the area, MSF decided to dispatch a team of senior MSF Somali staff from Nairobi and the Dinsor Health Center to evaluate the needs of thousands of displaced people who poured into the town following major fighting in Mogadishu.
Dr. Christophe Fournier, MSF's International Council president, recently returned from an assessment mission to Darfur, Sudan, and describes the humanitarian situation there as well as the work and the challenges faced by MSF.
Dr. Nikki Blackwell, an anesthesiologist on the Amman program, explains the specific features of this surgical project, describing the difficulties involved as well as the new techniques employed and her initial grounds for satisfaction.
Nasir is 37 years old. He lives with his wife and six children in the district of Babylone south of Baghdad. He earns a living doing odd jobs. In January he found himself standing five meters from two people who blew themselves up in a market. Six months later, Nasir has undergone reconstructive surgery in Amman.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) opened its project in Jordan on August 5. Head of mission Dr. Mego Terzian explains the goals of the project in Amman and describes the main difficulties encountered by the team and our partners in Iraq.
N'Djamena/Brussels, April 14, 2006 – Since yesterday afternoon, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been treating heavily wounded civilians after widespread violence in Chad reached the capital city, N'Djamena. So far, surgical teams have supported the treatment of more than 60 people in the Hopital General de Reference National (HGNR), the main reference hospital in the country.
Courtland Lewis, MD, an orthopedic surgeon from the University of Connecticut, spent three weeks in Mansehra, Pakistan, where he worked in the MSF field hospital, which is composed of nine inflatable tents.
Kampala, New York December 12, 2005 — Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and Interplast Holland have begun a reconstructive surgery program for civilians mutilated in the course of the conflict in northern Uganda. Many villagers have had lips, ears, noses or fingers cut off as part of the extensive violence directed at civilians in the region in recent years.
Until August 2005, 30-year old Renilde Kanyange was the supervising operating nurse for MSF's program providing emergency surgical care in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. Originally from Bujumbura, Burundi, she helped open the trauma center in December 2004.
Dr. Giovanni Brescia, an anaesthesiologist, is part of a Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) surgical team working in Lamno town, in Aceh province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.
Mary Ann Hopkins, MD, a surgeon at New York University Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital, recently returned from Bunia. At the 150-bed Bon Marché Hospital, Dr. Hopkins operated on people, including children, with gunshot, machete, and burn wounds as well as victims of sexual violence, who have been directly targeted by warring factions in Ituri.
Dr. Jean-Paul Dixmeras, a surgeon from Paris and a member of the Board of Directors for the French section of MSF, recently returned from providing emergency surgical care in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.
A Doctors without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) surgical team has started working in Sigli General District Hospital. Sigli, the capital of Pidie district on the eastern coast of Aceh, is an area that has been severely damaged by the tsunami. The 35-bed hospital has remained open with the help of Indonesian staff (many of the employees of the hospital were killed).
Port-au-Prince / New York, February 13, 2004 - Today, the international medical aid organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is sending 16 tons of medical equipment to Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti. The supplies consist primarily of surgical and dressing kits for the MSF programs in the hospital of Saint Nicolas, in Saint-Marc, and Saint François de Salle Hospital, in Port-au-Prince. The MSF medical emergency program aims to ensure access to treatment for the people wounded during the massive demonstrations and other violent incidents that have been occurring almost daily since December 2003.
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.