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MSF in Egypt, 2011
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During Egypt’s revolution, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) gave assistance and supplies to support local medical staff treating the wounded. Egypt has a competent medical sector and numerous qualified doctors and health professionals, but medical needs during the political crisis of January and February 2011 exceeded what even a strong health system could prepare for.
MSF teams delivered medical supplies to three hospitals in Cairo. They also helped provide care in an improvised clinic in a mosque close to Tahrir Square, the focal point of unrest. MSF staff with experience of working in conflict settings gave training in responding to the medical needs of large numbers of people in a short period of time, and set up additional emergency preparedness systems.
When new clashes between protesters and security forces broke out in November, MSF donated essential drugs and medical and surgical supplies to four hospitals in Cairo and one in Suez.
As a result of MSF’s collaboration with Egyptian volunteer doctors during the revolution, there is now a group of medical staff ready to respond to any future emergency in the country. MSF plans to offer training in the future.
Emergency response in Libya
In February, MSF staff in Egypt supported the medical response to the conflict in eastern Libya by procuring and shipping medical supplies, and supporting medical and logistical teams.
Future health programs
In 2011, MSF was officially registered in Egypt, allowing the development of new programs. Teams are considering assisting residents of some of the most deprived districts in Cairo, and supporting treatment for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis and hepatitis C.
At the end of 2011, MSF had 7 staff in Egypt. MSF has been working in the country since 2010.