- About Us
- Our Work
- Work With MSF
- Public Events
- Press Room
News for the Week of April 28, 1998
April 28, 1998
Famine Worsens in South Sudan
On April 6, 1998, MSF launched an emergency appeal to fund nutrition and health programs in Bahr El Ghazal, South Sudan. About 350,000 people are currently at risk for malnutrition in the region, including 120,000 people displaced by recent fighting who are unable to harvest their crops. The entire population is suffering from the effects of last year's poor harvest, irregular rainfall and years of war. In Bahr El Ghazal, more than 1,100 malnourished children are being treated in seven feeding centers. The teams in this region have examined more then 7,000 children over the last few weeks and found severe malnutrition rates to be as high as 35 percent in some areas. "Less than 10 percent of the children (we see) are of normal weight for their age," said MSF nurse Hanne Wurtz.
MSF Reaches Out to IV Drug Users in Moscow
Since 1996, MSF has been conducting HIV education and prevention activities in Moscow, where an estimated 100,000 young people are IV drug users. Working in close cooperation with local health authorities, MSF runs street outreach programs to educate drug users on the hazards of drug abuse and HIV transmission. Prior to this project, outreach using peer education had never been implemented in Russia. Adapting a model used in Holland, MSF has trained former addicts to educate IV drug users on preventing HIV transmission, hepatitis, and abscesses and recommend treatment centers that can provide further care. The peer educators also distribute brochures on safe sex practices and condoms. "It took some time to win the confidence of the drugs users, but now they come to us of their own accord with all sorts of questions," says Alek, a member of the outreach team. A recent survey of 400 drug users, conducted by MSF, indicates an increased awareness of the risks involved in unsafe sex practices and sharing needles.
Team in Uzbekistan Raises Awareness on Earth Day with New Website
The region surrounding the Aral Sea is facing severe environmental, medical, and economic consequences brought about by 30 years of natural resources mismanagement. An MSF team, which has been working in the Aral Sea Basin since 1997, is been raising awareness of the health effects on the population by launching a new website (www.st-oneline.de/~evers/msf) in honor of Earth Day. It is an excellent resource for photos and information on the Aral Sea Disaster and the MSF Uzbekistan projects.
Tibetan Freeze Featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer
On April 12, 1998, The Philadelphia Inquirer featured a front-page story on the effects of a severe winter on Tibetan nomads in China and MSF efforts to bring aid to this population. MSF launched an emergency operation on March 9 to distribute food and medical aid to the 80,000 Tibetan nomads in Yushu Prefecture in the Quinghai Province of China. Violent snowstorms and severely cold temperatures-as low as 40 degrees below zero Celsius-put this population in severe danger due to the widespread starvation of their livestock.
MSF Participates in AIDS Walk On Sunday May 17, 1998
On Sunday, May 17, 1998, a team of MSF volunteers, staff, and friends of MSF, will be walking in the 13th annual Gay Men's Health Crisis AIDS Walk in New York.