In early June, world leaders and global health officials gathered at the United Nations for a summit meeting on HIV/AIDS. Among the outcomes was a new treatment target, a plan to get 15 million people living with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral (ARV) treatment by the year 2015.
To highlight the critical humanitarian and medical needs that exist in urban settings the world over, MSF presents "Urban Survivors," a multimedia project produced in collaboration with the NOOR photo agency and Darjeeling Productions.
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.
Dr. Gedi Mohamed, director of the general hospital at Dagahaley refugee camp, in northeastern Kenya, describes what brought him to Dadaab and how MSF is coping with the severely overcrowded conditions.
Hannah Megacz, a New York City-based nurse, has worked with MSF in Cameroon, Niger, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and, for much of 2010, in Dadaab, Kenya, in the Dagahaley Refugee Camp, the largest of three refugee camps set up in the 1990s for refugees fleeing war in Somalia. Originally established to accommodate 90,000 individuals, the camps are currently struggling to support 300,000 refugees. More than 100,000 now live in Dagahaley alone, in fact. The needs are significant and the resources far too few, especially as it pertains to food, water, sanitation, and shelter. MSF has spoken out about the need to provide more care for these refugees, something that seems ever more urgent as the numbers look likely to continue increasing.
"Eneza Ujumbe: The Voices of Mathare Youth" is a newsletter written by and produced by young people living with HIV in Mathare, a slum on the edge of Nairobi. MSF runs a clinic in Mathare called the Blue House, which provides healthcare to thousands of people.
MSF Nurse Colette Kerr describes her experience in Busia, a rural district in western Kenya, where MSF runs an HIV/AIDS project. Kerr oversaw the prevention of mother-to-child transmission program for pregnant women and new mothers.
Nairobi/Geneva/New York, May 18, 2009 – More than 270,000 refugees who have fled war in Somalia are facing such alarming shortages of food, water, and adequate shelter in severely overcrowded camps in northern Kenya that many are considering returning to the Somali war zone, the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.
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.
A family in Homa Bay, Kenya describes the benefit of a fixed dose combination antiretroviral for their son's HIV/AIDS treatment. Of the 22 antiretroviral drugs currently available, eight are not approved for pediatric use and seventeen are not available in pediatric formulations. There is a clear and urgent need for more research and development of child-friendly antiretroviral drugs.
Nairobi, July 21, 2008—For the last three weeks, staff working for the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have been stopped at road blocks and prevented by local authorities from providing medical assistance to the affected civilian population of Mount Elgon in western Kenya. MSF is calling on the authorities to lift the restrictions and allow the resumption of vital humanitarian relief.
Brussels/Nairobi, June 17, 2008 — The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is calling for an immediate increase in assistance for the people of Mount Elgon in western Kenya, and an end to the indiscriminate violence they have endured for almost two years.
Nairobi/Brussels, May 16, 2008 —Over the past week, aid workers for the international medical humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), have witnessed the forced return and resettlement of displaced people living in Endebess camp, western Kenya. Inhabitants of the camp are being threatened and told to leave, although many of them fear returning to their places of origin or have nowhere to go.
Since political parties have reached a power-sharing deal and the security situation has improved in many parts of the country, MSF teams plan to phase out activities in some locations. However, as the rainy season is starting, and thousands are still living in displaced-persons’camps, MSF medical and logistical staff will continue to assist those affected by the violence while also providing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and kala azar treatment and care at long-running projects.
After Kenya disintegrated into violence following the country’s disputed presidential election, MSF teams were forced to switch gears from specialized care for chronic diseases to treating machete wounds and running mobile clinics.
Even as a political settlement was reached in Kenya, MSF teams continued to provide medical care in Nairobi, Nyanza, Rift Valley, and Western provinces. Many areas of Kenya remain tense: in Nairobi, MSF has adapted their long-running HIV/AIDS projects to also provide care for victims of violence; in western Kenya, MSF is responding to people’s needs by working in internally displaced persons’ (IDP) camps and supporting health centers and hospitals. Meanwhile, mobile medical teams travel to rural areas every week to provide care to the many hundreds of Kenyans who are trapped there with little or no aid.
Over a month after Kenya's disputed election, the repercussions continue to be felt throughout the country. According to the Kenyan Red Cross, more than 1,000 people are thought to have been killed and 300,000 displaced. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which has worked in Kenya since 1992, flew in emergency staff to help respond to the crisis.
On January 25, an MSF mobile team had been out for ten minutes when they had to return to base, due to fighting and rioting in the streets. Later that day, the team was able to get to the hospital and found that 116 people needed surgical care.
In response to the violence that has hit Nairobi in the last few days, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has provided care to wounded people in health centers as well as in referral hospitals. Filipe Ribeiro and Rémi Carrier respectively run MSF's activities in Mathare and Kibera. They speak about the last few days of violence in Nairobi.
As protests continue throughout Kenya, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams respond to the additional needs created by the violence of recent weeks. In Nairobi, where MSF has provided HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) care in the slums for over 10 years, medical teams have set up extra clinics and first-aid posts in order to assist any people wounded during the protests. MSF teams in Busia and Homa Bay are continuing to provide HIV/AIDS care and are assisting displaced people. In other parts of western Kenya, emergency teams that arrived in the country to help deal with the increased needs continue to provide assistance to the thousands of people who have been affected by the violence.
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.
Between January 16 and January 18, MSF medical teams have treated 34 wounded in the Kibera and Mathare slums of Kenya's capital, Nairobi, where the organization runs HIV/AIDS and TB treatment programs. Additional MSF teams are working in western Kenya, responding to the needs of displaced people in the wake of the country's post-election violence.
On January 2, an MSF team of one nurse and one logistician went to Eldoret, a Kenyan town 250 km (155 miles) northwest of the capital, Nairobi. In the wake of the violence that erupted after elections in December, the town was faced with a large influx of displaced people, which led Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to begin an emergency intervention. Today, the situation has calmed down, but the poorest displaced people wonder what their future holds now.
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is working in Eldoret, a town about 155 miles northwest of Nairobi, where thousands of people have congregated to escape the violence following the December elections. Many of them now have no homes to go back to and are need of medical assistance and the most basic household items.
Eight additional MSF international staff have arrived in Kenya to help assess and respond to the needs created by the violence and insecurity that have rocked the country since December 29. As well as continuing to provide HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis (TB) care in projects in Nairobi and western Kenya, MSF is helping thousands of people who have been displaced during the violence of the last few days.
MSF began treating MDR-TB in Kenya in May of 2006. With four patients enrolled at "Blue House" and three on the shores of Lake Victoria in a town called Homa Bay, MSF remains the only provider of MDR-TB treatment in the country today. Around Nairobi alone, it is estimated there are about 50 cases, but there is no capacity to absorb them.
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."
A combination of three failed rainy seasons, neglect at home as well as from abroad, and the decades-long overstretching of natural resources have been devastating. The earth in El Wak is a bleached moonscape scattered with thorn bushes and the carcasses of dead animals.
Accompanied by Waweru, an HIV counselor, a woman walks into a consultation room of the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 'Blue House' clinic in Nairobi. She is carrying a child and looks weary. Her loosely tied headscarf looks as if it is about to fall off. She has her hands full with a traditional woven bag–a "kiondo"–hanging from her shoulder and her three-year-old son, Titus, all swaddled up on her arms.
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.