March 23, 1998
80,000 Tibetan Nomads Face Crisis: Aftermath of Harsh Winter
MSF has launched an emergency operation to distribute food and medical aid to 80,000 Tibetan nomads in Yushu Prefecture in the province of Qinghai, China. Violent snowstorms and severely cold temperatures-as low as 40 degrees below zero Celsius-have put this population in severe danger due to the widespread starvation of their livestock. Without assistance, they lack the resources to survive past the month of May.
World TB Day: March 24, 1998
In 1998, for the first time, World TB Day will be observed as an official United Nations holiday. TB spreads without borders so MSF is making a concerted global effort to isolate and control TB in 25 countries.
Thailand: Refugee Camp in Mae Sod Burned to the Ground
On March 11, 1998, the Wangka camp for Karen refugees in Mae Sod, Thailand, was burned down allegedly by the Burmese rebel group DKBA (Democratic Karen Buddist Army). This is the second time in the past year that the camp has been attacked. After the attacks, MSF volunteers provided medical assistance and distributed food and supplies. To continue to meet the medical needs of the refugees, the volunteers set up a temporary clinic in one of the surviving school buildings. A survey of the damage estimates that as many as 7,300 people, 80 percent of the camp's families, have lost their homes. Many of the refugees have now returned to the camp and are building rudimentary shelters out of salvaged tin sheeting and thatch. MSF teams have opened and chlorinated wells, and water tanks have been set up for drinking water.
Kosovo Rocked by Fighting: MSF Seeks Access to Victims
MSF teams are working in Kosovo, a province of the Yugoslav Republic, currently rocked by the recent massacre of ethnic Albanians, known as Kosovars. The team, based in Kosovo's capital Pristina, is providing drugs and medical supplies to health structures in and around the affected region. The volunteers have also distributed blankets, winter clothing and food to the local population.
Emergency Surgery in Sri Lanka
MSF Volunteer Diary Appears in Self Magazine. Titled "A Surgeon's Notes From a War Zone," Dr. Margo Aswad's journal detailing her experiences in Sri Lanka appears in the March issue of Self. At the age of 34, Dr. Aswad joined MSF and found herself practicing medicine on the eastern coast of Sri Lanka in the midst of 15-year-old civil war . An excerpt from her journal tells her story, that of a young women who left her life in upstate New York to heal the wounds of war and fight disease. She found that though her living situation was often difficult the rewards were overwhelming. Says Aswad:
© 2013 Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)