Read about first-hand accounts from MSF aid workers and patients.

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By Arjan Hehenkamp, MSF General Director

When I left South Sudan ten years ago, having worked here for four, I left feeling hopeful. A ceasefire had been signed (between Sudan and opposition forces in the south) and a peace-agreement was under discussion. A few years later South Sudan became an independent country, a master of its destiny.

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Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) doctor Natalie Roberts spent two months working in the Philippines, running MSF’s inflatable hospital in Tacloban. Here, she describes her experience.

I arrived in Tacloban a week after the typhoon. As soon as the town came into view from the air, the level of devastation became apparent. The runway was surrounded by debris—cars, bits of tin roofing, broken wood, as well as aid packages and military planes. Airport departures was just a hole in the wall, partially covered by mangled barbed wire.

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In Hebron and East Jerusalem, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a medical and psychosocial program for people suffering from conflict-related trauma. MSF teams focus on people with psychological distress (acute stress, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic syndromes, depression) related to violent incidents with Israeli settlers, the Israeli Army, or other Palestinian parties. Here, an MSF psychologist describes a session with a patient in Hebron.

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Côme Niyomgabo, a 40-year-old Burundian, recently finished a nine-month mission coordinating the Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) project to reduce child mortality in Bouza, in Niger’s Tahoua district. He discusses his experience in this interview.

What is the situation in Bouza at present?

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Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, has been convulsed by violence for weeks, but most of the city’s hospitals are no longer functioning. Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs the only trauma unit in the city, at Community Hospital, where staff have treated more than 800 patients—most with bullet or knife wounds—since fighting broke out in early December. Here, project coordinator Jessie Gaffric, who manages MSF’s operations at Community, describes the situation:

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Adam Sharp, MSF project coordinator in Syria, recalls how even amidst surgery, maternity care, and disease care, communication remains an extremely important part of working in the war-torn country.

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An MSF midwife remembers a baby's early fight to survive after being born premature in Syria, where war has devastated the health system.

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MSF psychologist and health advisor Ana Maria Tijerino describes the scale of the mental health needs in the Philippines, and how MSF is responding.

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Cindy Penalber is a Filipino nurse from the town of Estancia in northeast Panay Island. She has been helping survivors of Typhoon Haiyan since it hit the Philippines on November 8. Cindy and many of her colleagues are now working alongside Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) mobile clinic teams to provide medical care in areas damaged by the storm. Traveling by car to reach the more remote areas of Panay, the teams have worked together to treat over 600 patients since Sunday, November 17. Here, Cindy describes her experience.

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MSF emergency coordinator Dr. Natasha Reyes provides an update on the widespread needs in the storm-ravaged Philippines.

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