On 25th of April, the annual World Malaria Day, many health organisations will highlight important gains in fighting this deadly disease that claims more than one million lives every year. But despite notable progress in terms of innovation and investment, Médecins Sans Frontières/ Doctors Without Borders (MSF) continues to see continuously high rates of malaria in several African countries.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation committed to two objectives: providing medical assistance to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion, natural and man-made disasters, and speaking out about the plight of the populations assisted. MSF offers assistance to people based only on need and irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation.
‘Five Lives’ are the stories of people that Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) works with every day, whose health and lives often hang on a simple medical intervention.
These personal experiences are a snapshot of the unnecessary suffering MSF medical staff see first-hand daily in places where people can’t get adequate medical care and that could be avoided with proper, sustainable funding and investment.
On 13 October 2011, an Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) team suffered an attack in Dadaab, Kenya. One of the MSF drivers, Mohamed Hassan Borle, 31, was injured during this attack. His medical condition is stable, he is out of danger and remains hospitalised. Two international staff, both Spanish, were taken. As yet, MSF has not been able to establish contact with the two staff taken. A crisis team has been set up to deal with this incident.
The most important document guiding government’s response to HIV in South Africa is the National Strategic Plan for HIV, AIDS and STIs (the ‘NSP’). This document is South Africa's ‘HIV Constitution’, defining national objectives and commitments on HIV treatment and prevention.
A three-person Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) team is currently in Tripoli with supplies and is starting to support facilities that are already overwhelmed with patients wounded in the fighting currently taking place in the Libyan capital. MSF has also dispatched teams to Zlitan, east of Tripoli, and Al Zawiyah, to the west, to support hospitals faced with an influx of wounded. Speaking from Tripoli, Jonathan Whittall, MSF Emergency Coordinator, describes the situation on the ground.
Interview with Mohamed Somane Abdi, MSF Assistant Project Coordinator, Marere, southern Somalia.
The drought has affected us badly. Marere used to be a farming area but there has been no harvest now for more than two years. You can see the effects of the drought right here in our hospital, where numbers of patients in our inpatient feeding centre have doubled.
Last night, 80 under-fives with severe malnutrition stayed in the hospital, while we were treating a further 443 children as outpatients.
"Hunger and destitution..."
This week, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has sent medical teams and four charter planes carrying 55 tons of medical equipment, medicines and therapeutic food to Mogadishu in response to the crisis in Somalia. In the past weeks, an estimated 100 000 people have fled from south and central Somalia to the capital to seek assistance. They are settling in numerous camps in and around Mogadishu, with little or no access to health care.
Some 3 000 sub-Saharan Africans are stranded in camps at the Tunisian border with Libya. Most had fled violence or repression in their own countries in search of work in Libya. Due to the war, they had to flee. But due to the situations in their native countries, they cannot be repatriated, and are therefore stuck where they are, their futures uncertain.