"I returned to Darfur this October, having worked there in July 2004 when few aid agencies were operational and there was a crisis requiring a massive and urgent increase in assistance. Fighting was going on then but it was possible to rapidly expand the aid effort. Today things are very different," writes Dr. Rowan Gillies, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International Council President, on the situation in Darfur, Sudan.
The situation is worsening in Darfur, the western Sudan region where a conflict began in 2003. Renewed violence has led to reduced assistance to people in the area. Dr. Denis Lemasson, MSF program director, has just returned from Sudan with a disturbing report.
It is Brazilian nurse Gabriela Adao's fourth mission with MSF. At Island Hospital, Gabriela is developing alternative adherence tools to make sure that tuberculosis (TB) patients actually take their drugs properly, and ultimately recover.
"The only thing separating the displaced people from life-threatening dehydration was a three-and-half inch diameter, exposed pipe that was snaking through the jungle to the town." says Barry Gutwein, a water-and-sanitation engineer from Indiana, who was dispatched to Dubie, a town in the Democratic Republic of Congo's Katanga Province.
For the past nine months, Lisa Errol, a midwife from New Zealand, has been treating pregnant women at the MSF clinic in a camp for internally displaced people in the Liberian town of Salala in Bong county.
Janeta is a gynecologist working in Ingushetia. She started with MSF in 2000 and works alongside a pediatrician and two nurses in two different kompaktniki (spontaneous settlements), which she visits twice each week.
Courtland Lewis, MD, an orthopedic surgeon from the University of Connecticut, spent three weeks in Mansehra, Pakistan, where he worked in the MSF field hospital, which is composed of nine inflatable tents.
In October 2005, tens of thousands of people throughout Central America lost their homes, livelihoods, and access to clean water when Tropical Storm Stan struck the region. Laurent Dedieu, Logistics Supervisor for MSF-USA, oversaw MSF's emergency assistance program in Guatemala's Chinquimulilla region, Santa Rosa department.
Since October 2005, Hilary Bower has worked as project coordinator for MSF in the Karbi Anglong region of India's Assam state. MSF is bringing urgently needed assistance to local residents who have been forced to flee from their villages due to violence between members of two local tribes.