Every year, thousands of people risk their lives crossing the Gulf of Aden: Somalis fleeing the fighting in their country and Ethiopians leaving because they cannot find work back home, for political reasons, or because of the conflict in the Somali region. Conditions of the voyage are terrible and on almost every crossing people die. This year alone an estimated 28,000 people arrived at the along the coast of Yemen, with 651 confirmed dead and another 659 missing. The actual death toll is probably much higher.
Violence in the North Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has intensified since August 2007, displacing hundreds of thousands of people and creating major obstacles for people to access health care. Jane Coyne, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) head of mission in DRC, provides an update of situation in North Kivu, and explains the toll that lack of basic health care is taking on the people of this region.
An interview with Olivia Gayraud, a French emergency nurse, who helped open the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) 56-bed emergency medical and surgical program at St. Joseph's Hospital in Port-au-Prince in October 2004. In March 2007, she became head of mission at the project, which now inlcudes a program to treat victims of sexual violence with medical and mental health care.
MSF has been working in Paoua since March 2006. Despite the constant threat of attack, the population has recently managed to move around again, on most roads, within 30 kilometers around the town. The hospital in the town is extremely busy, and MSF is also in the process of resuming its activities in the surrounding area, by supporting health posts there. Delphine Chedorge, MSF head of mission, describes the situation on the ground.
The Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team in Masisi in the Democratic Republic of Congo's North Kivu province is comprised of 100 Congolese and 5 international staff, works in the 120-bed hospital and a health center. They offer surgical care to war-wounded, as well as general health care and nutritional support to displaced people and the local population. Anne Khoudiacoff, 29, is a Belgian nurse who arrived in DRC in early October. Here she describes her work.
Luis Encinas, a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) emergency coordinator, is managing the intervention to provide care to those affected by the earthquake that hit Peru's southern coast on August 15. Three days after the disaster, MSF chartered a cargo plane, loaded it with 12 tons of relief materials, and flew into Peru. Encinas, who has been on the ground for a few days, gives an account of MSF activities.
Vanessa van Schoor worked for 13 months as Head of Mission for Doctors Without Borders'/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) project in Darfur, overseeing security, solving staff and supply issues, and balancing medical work with communication of the injustices witnessed by MSF teams. Here she talks about the risks that humanitarian aid workers face in Darfur and why the intense effort to help must continue.
Dr. Shepherd, a pediatrician, explains MSF's strategy to combat outbreaks of acute malnutrition in the country. Each year, tens of thousands of children, aged six months to three years, become acutely malnourished between June and October, the time period that corresponds to depletion of food stocks before the next harvest.
On April 17, 2007 MSF launched an emergency medical response in Afgooye, Lower Shabelle Region, about 30 kilometers west of Mogadishu. Due to insecurity in the area, MSF decided to dispatch a team of senior MSF Somali staff from Nairobi and the Dinsor Health Center to evaluate the needs of thousands of displaced people who poured into the town following major fighting in Mogadishu.