Pushing for greater access to health care and essential medicines

A doctor reads a child's X-ray at a hospital in Martissant, Haiti. MSF manages an emergency health center here that provided 35,800 outpatient consultations and admitted more than 2,000 patients in 2017.
HAITI 2018 © Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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This article is part of the Winter 2018 issue of Alert—2018: The Year in Photos—featuring some of the most striking images and stories from our work around the world.

Whether trapped behind the front lines of a conflict, living in conditions of extreme poverty, or marginalized by discrimination or neglect, many people around the world have trouble accessing health services. In 2018 our teams brought quality, lifesaving care to the patients who need it most, and advocated for greater access to drugs, vaccines, and diagnostics.

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Ukraine

Barkalova, age seven, waits in the hallway of a mobile clinic MSF runs in Mariupol, a city located in the Donetsk region in eastern Ukraine. Her mother is receiving psychological treatment for issues related to the conflict. Clinical psychology is not incorporated into the Ukrainian health system, leaving many in the community without access to mental health care.
UKRAINE 2018 © Kenny Karpov

Four years of conflict in eastern Ukraine have severely altered the lives of people living near the front lines. MSF mobile clinics provide primary health and psychological care to the elderly residents of isolated villages. 

Residents of the village of Opytne, in Ukrainian government controlled territory near the destroyed Donetsk Airport, are trapped by the armed conflict and have limited access to health care. Mariia, 79, lives just a block away from MSF’s mobile clinic. "I've been visiting the MSF clinic for a while now for treatment with my nerves and high blood pressure,” she says. “I enjoy coming here. The doctors talk and joke with me all the time. It feels like family here."
UKRAINE 2018 © Kenny Karpov

Haiti

In Haiti, where quality health care is unaffordable for most people, we provide free care at Drouillard Center, the country’s sole specialized burn center.

Worldwide, our Access Campaign continued to fight for greater access to and investment in treatments for patients living with diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and HIV/AIDS.

The waiting room at MSF’s Drouillard Hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, is often full. Located next to the impoverished Cité Soleil neighborhood, Drouillard is the only specialized center in the country to focus on the treatment of severe burns—a widespread problem mostly linked to dire living conditions.
HAITI 2018 © Spencer Platt/Getty Images

South Africa

A doctor sees a patient at Michael Mapongwane Community Health Center in Khayelitsha, South Africa.
SOUTH AFRICA 2018 © Oliver Petrie/MSF

MSF works alongside the health ministry to provide a range of integrated HIV and TB care in Khayelitsha, South Africa. This project has successfully increased access to newer treatments for patients with drug-resistant TB.

Eswatini

An MSF health promoter explains HIV oral self-testing to a group of farmers in the Shiselweni region of Eswatini.
Eswatini 2018 © Fanny Hostettler/MSF

Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) has among the world's highest rates of HIV, affecting roughly one in three adults. MSF is using innovative approaches to fight HIV and TB and ensure that people have greater access to treatment.