Doctors Without Borders (MSF)

Why MSF decided to leave Somalia

By Dr Unni Karunakara Our announcement on August 14 that we were closing all our medical programmes in Somalia sent shockwaves through political and humanitarian communities. It came at a moment when world leaders, for the first time in decades, began making positive noises about a country on the road to recovery and with a…

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In India, HIV history repeats itself

By Sharon Ekambaram Recently, Mumbai Aids activists took to the streets protesting the Indian government’s failure to protect people living with HIV from discrimination. More than 20 years after South African activists took up the same fight at home, the protests are a stark reminder that the battle for equality, dignity and access to life-saving…

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Health workers in the firing line

By Peter Maurer and Unni Karunakara Whether it’s health facilities being used to identify and apprehend enemies, or ambulances blocked from accessing the wounded, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) strongly condemn any act that deliberately aims to distort medical action and to deny healthcare to the sick…

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TB in SA: The good, bad and long overdue

By Andrew Mews and Vuyiseka Dubula Tuberculosis remains South Africa’s leading cause of death. This year alone, the country will see 500 000 cases, of which about 3% will be resistant to both of the most commonly used anti-TB drugs. The majority of these patients will have caught drug-resistant TB from someone in their community, most…

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EU must show leadership in fight against HIV, Aids

By Marielle Bemelmans After decades of struggle against HIV, there is still an urgent need to do more to stop needless deaths. Despite effective and largely affordable drugs, tools and models of care, 1.7 million die annually from Aids-related illnesses. This is unacceptable. Earlier this week, the European Commission hosted a Brussels meeting to discuss the…

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Brics can unlock deadly stalemate, bring humanitarian relief to Syrians

By Jonathan Whittall On one of my first visits into Syria with MSF, I arrived on a cold night in a city with no electricity and shortages of food. A community under siege hosted me while they lived in fear, huddled into basements in an attempt to escape the continuous bombing. I saw field hospitals…

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Playing the politics of exclusion means everyone loses

By Sharon Ekambaram Elbow tests and “amakwerekwere” — these are some of the new markers of difference in South Africa, but playing the politics of exclusion in public health gives new meaning to the slogan “an injury to one is an injury to all”. Although estimates vary, as many as 3.3 million migrants from neighbouring countries…

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A dangerous game of darts in the dark

By Daniel Berman and Gregory Hussey South Africa claims with pride its status as a middle-income country and economic powerhouse but when it comes to saving the lives of children through routine immunisations, we are far behind neighbouring countries. By 2010, South Africa was already spending R1.2 billion on vaccine procurement every year but child vaccination…

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