Some of the most striking photos from some of the most urgent crises Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) responded to in 2010.
In the immediate aftermath of last January’s earthquake, the potential of an outbreak of disease was a major concern. Months went by without it coming to pass, though, which seemed like a rare victory for the battered population. In September, however, word came from the Artibonite region in central Haiti, , that patients were presenting with cholera-like symptoms. Cholera had not been seen in Haiti in many decades, but the signs—rapid and severe dehydration caused by excessive vomiting and diarrhea—were all too apparent.
The World Health Organization estimates that 8,700 people in Uzbekistan are stricken with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis—or MDR–TB—each year. Patients with MDR–TB must endure an even longer, even more painful treatment regimen than the already tedious process patients with drug–responsive TB go through. Due to high costs and the complexity of diagnostics and treatment, most countries with a high TB burden struggle to treat those who need it.
Dallas-based nurse Kaci Hickox began working with MSF in 2007. Last March, she was sent to Nigeria to be the Doctors Without Border/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency medical team leader following outbreaks of measles and meningitis. Two months later, however, she found herself in the middle of the organization’s first-ever response to lead poisoning and an international effort to assist the Nigerian authorities that came to include the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
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.
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.
In December, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will support the national Ministries of Health of Niger and Mali to carry out meningitis vaccination campaigns using a new, low-cost, longer-lasting vaccine. This vaccine, which was recently endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), is a major improvement over older meningitis vaccines and has the potential to save thousands of lives each year.
A boy holds his younger brother as he stands in a field in Gogrial, in southern Sudan. The people of southern Sudan will face a huge choice on January 9, when they vote in a referendum that could result in the birth of a new country.
This past summer, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team conducting measles surveillance in Nigeria followed a rumor to a remote village where 40 children had died of a mysterious illness, and more were falling ill.
Vol. 12 No. 4
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