Providing care to individuals, responding to disasters
What are the challenges, limitations, constraints, paradoxes and potential breakthroughs of humanitarian medicine, which specialises in treating marginalised and deprived populations affected by crises? Deconstructing a number of “healthcare utopias,” the studies contained in this volume review the history of global health innovations to which MSF has contributed. They also explore the current state of knowledge, practices and concerns relating to certain focus areas, such as nutrition, AIDS, water supply, food aid, reconstructive surgery, epidemic response, surveillance and disaster epidemiology.
All the warning lights are flashing red this year: drought, the high prices of grains and fertilisers exacerbated by the war in Ukraine, reduced imports and speculation, numerous armed conflicts, a record number of refugees to be fed, disengagement of institutional donors,… With the exception of locusts, all the determinants of severe food scarcity are there, from Afghanistan to the Sahel, including Yemen, the Horn of Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. To the point of threatening all of the progress that was made in treating undernutrition after the 2005 crisis in Niger, which was the starting point for global advances in managing malnutrition in places where it is commonplace. It is time for a general mobilisation to limit the scale of the coming catastrophe. Interview with Jean-Hervé Bradol by Elba Rahmouni.
Reconstructing Lives was published in January 2022 by Manchester University Press. The book is the result of extensive fieldwork, in collaboration with the Crash. Here is the presentation of the book and its contents, as well as a short introductory video.
This study, conducted among the men of Homa Bay in Nyanza Province, Kenya, assesses the representations of HIV and impact on care seeking. It reveals that simply setting up a testing or care campaign does not necessarily mean that the entire population will participate; the message has to be tailored to the target population and fine-tuned even within that population.
The study The Patient Perspective of Quality of Care: A Review of the Literature, which we present here was carried out by Hannah Barnett a public health student at George Washington University, intern with CRASH from June to August 2018. This work sums up seventy articles from a variety of disciplines including medicine and public health. It is part of a reflection initiated by MSF a few years ago on medical quality and the patient-centered approach.
Michaël Neuman's review of "Medical Humanitarianism: Ethnographies of practice" edited by Sharon Abramowitz and Catherine Panter-Brick (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
The question of quality in the work of Médecins Sans Frontières has been asked from the very beginning of MSF's existence. On the one hand, the issue of improving the quality of practice is a part of ordinary professional activity; on the other hand, Médecins Sans Frontières' work involved working in distant lands and very specific environments, which demanded adjustments to medical practice as a result.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and other researchers, including MSF-Crash Dr. Jean Hervé Bradol, report a persistent deficiency in truly new therapeutics for neglected diseases, despite nominal progress and an acceleration in research and development (R&D) efforts.
Our survey bears something of a resemblance to a study carried out by Vanja Kovacic in Homa Bay, Kenya, in which she investigated patients’ disease coping mechanisms and their “dependence on medical institutions”.