This article was published in the London Review of books website on September 8, 2023. The former evokes the dire conditions in which roughly 100000 Rohingyas live in Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in the world. In this coastal district in south-east Bangladesh, the humanitarian deployment is impressive, but commitment by donors is waning. Between March and June, monthly food allocations fell from $12 to $8 per person. The difficulties of accessing care, the social control to which they are subjected and the lack of prospects are many reasons explaining the perils faced by the Rohingya population.
Michaël Neuman describes his visit to Goma’s IDP camps, where he spent two weeks.
Based on a reflection regarding how patient rights have changed, in France in particular, Fabrice Weissman discusses humanitarian medicine’s shortcomings in that regard and proposes several avenues for improvement at MSF. This text was originally posted on MSF’s associative website, The Souk.
This article was published on December 26th, 2022 on the Souk, the MSF associative website.
Accusing the mothers of malnourished children of being lawless fraudsters is a well-worn trope in malnutrition treatment programmes worldwide – and one that has resurfaced recently in Nigeria, stirred up by health workers and the media. These types of accusations obscure a series of tricky truths on the control of resources, the quality of malnutrition treatment programmes, and on the extreme precariousness in which many families live. We see all of this in northwest Nigeria’s Katsina state, where we are currently conducting the largest malnutrition programme in the history of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF).
In a country with a solid medical infrastructure and faced with a large-scale international mobilisation, what is the place of MSF in Ukraine and beyond? "We are not currently in the front line of emergency care provision," write Thierry Allafort Duverger and Michael Neuman, who see our work in limited areas, particularly with those "left behind," and in the longer term.
In his book, La Traversée. Une odyssée au cœur de l’Afrique, Patrick de Saint-Exupéry challenges the reality of Hutu Rwandan refugees’ hunt and massacre facing the advancement of the Rwandan Patriotic Army and their Congolese allies in 1996-97. This systematic exercise of denying reality – especially the denial of the Mapping Report written by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (1143 pages, published in June 2009) – but also this denial of Human Rights Advocacy groups’ investigations, and those of journalists’ witnesses present in DRC at the time – does not spare MSF’s teams who came to help these refugees in 1996-97. However, as a front-line witness of the Tutsi genocide in Rwanda, MSF was also one of the organizations noticing the intense violence perpetrated by the new Rwandan political regime in Zaire / DRC back in 1996 and 1997, mostly against a population constituted at three-quarters of women and children.
The “disappeared” of Congo-Zaire, 1996-1997. The question of the massacres of Rwandan Hutu refugees in the Democratic Republic of Congo03/30/2021
There is a new book out by Patrick de Saint-Exupéry entitled La traversée. Une odyssée au cœur de l’Afrique [The crossing. An odyssey in the heart of Africa]. What odyssey? Crossing the Congo (Zaire, later the Democratic Republic of Congo) from Rwanda. The author describes his encounters, the beers he had here and there, the bumpy rides on the back of a motorcycle (to Kisangani), a trip down the Congo River, flying over the dense forest on his way to Mbandaka.
Blog written by Jean-Hervé Bradol, director of studies at the Crash.
Today, in order to obtain supplies of vaccines against Covid-19, there is neither a major difficulty related to price, nor a major obstacle related to intellectual property rules, nor a deficit in bio-medical research. However, these three topics are generally at the heart of MSF's communication in the area of access to medical care for those in most need. Our discourse must therefore evolve.
With the emergence of worrying variants of the virus present in the early stages of the pandemic and, as a consequence, the need to vaccinate on a global scale as quickly as possible, the world is facing a double challenge: biological engineering and ultra-industrial production – “ultra” echoing the need to produce on a global scale in a short period of time.
The benefit of the vaccine is only real in the context of a rational and comprehensive biomedical, social, political and economic response, adapted to the local assessment of the health crisis and its impacts.
The biggest oversight in the response to this epidemic has been the EHPADs. For the staff, the directive was clear: continue to work and provide an alternative to hospitalisation. No matter the conditions. For the residents, it was to die alone without treatment to alleviate their suffering.
Michaël Neuman spent ten days in Libya with Médecins Sans Frontières teams working in detention centres for migrants. From his stay, he brings back the following impressions that illustrate the gloomy situation of the people who are held there, for months or years, and the even more difficult situation of all those subject to kidnapping and torture.
The crude mortality rate (CMR) is one of the most widely used indicators at MSF and the humanitarian sector to evaluate the severity of a health crisis within a given population. It is widely recognized that a CMR equal to or greater than one death per 10,000 persons a day signifies an emergency situation requiring an immediate response. However, the usage of the standard emergency threshold as “1/10,000/day” is very questionable: it goes against the official recommendations endorsed by humanitarian organizations and ignores the worldwide decline in mortality rates over the last 30 years.