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MSF Month in Focus: May 2017
Watch our Month in Focus for an in-depth look at our work around the world this past month.
This month, we look at:
MSF's hepatitis C clinic in Pnomh Penh sees over 100 patients a day - operating as the only facility in Cambodia that offers free screening and treatment. People travel from all over the country to get here, some with serious complications after living with the virus for years. With diagnostics and treatment costing six times the average monthly wage, people who earn less simply cannot afford them. "I saw a man yesterday who held up his medicine bottle," says MSF doctor Theresa Chan. "He said 'I dropped one on the floor yesterday and it felt like I dropped my heart.'"
The offensive launched by the Iraqi forces to retake Mosul continues. In response to airstrikes, MSF set up an advanced medical post just a few kilometres from the frontline. "The idea is to stabilise the patient and make sure they are safe for the 40 minute to one hour transfer [to the nearest hospital]," says MSF emergency doctor Rogy Masri. "Hopefully you do a good enough job that they make it to the hospital and have a chance to survive."
Support is essential to the long and arduous multidrug-resistant tuberculosis treatment process. Patients go through months of daily rituals, taking medication which can have extremely unpleasant side-effects. The presence of a health worker during this process is vital - it helps patients maintain their treatment, whilst allowing them to report on any side-effects. The problem is patients need to take treatment twice per day; one in the morning, and in the evening (when clinics are closed). In Armenia, MSF has used Skype calls to maintain patient support.
After two years of conflict, an estimated 15 million Yemen is are living without basic healthcare. Destroyed health centres, rising fuel prices, and a desperate lack of drugs and trained staff are pushing people to their limits.
Refugees and migrants
Last year, almost 34,000 unaccompanied minors arrived in Europe. MSF explains how France is failing to protect them despite their legal obligation to do so. This is leaving thousands of young people classified as adult refugees, forced to fend for themselves. MSF is setting up a daycare centre for unaccompanied minors in transit, who have recently arrived, or who have been rejected by the French child protection system.
Voice from the field: Kenya
MSF doctor Carolina Loreti (from Argentina) shares her experiences managing medical activities in Homa Bay, Kenya. The programme focused on treatment and care of people living with HIV/AIDS (some co-infected with tuberculosis). "I come from a country where we have the same challenges regarding the pathologies we observe," she says. "The difference is the resources are different - so it can be frustrating knowing your patient may have a different outcome."
Democratic Republic of Congo
On 11 July 2013, four MSF staff members were abducted in North Kivu: Philippe, Romy, Richard and Chantal. After 13 months of captivity, Chantal managed to escape. The whereabouts and fate of our other colleagues are still unknown.