Dispatches is Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Canada's official magazine. In it, we bring you stories and updates about MSF's lifesaving work, as seen through the eyes of our staff, our patients and our donors — and especially from the perspective of the many Canadians working on the ground with MSF around the world.

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Dispatches is published twice annually as a print and digital magazine, but new stories and articles from MSF Canada are continually added throughout the year online. Follow the links below to see our latest content.


April 03, 2017

For her next assignment with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), communications manager Sandra Smiley may be returning with a different title: Dr. Smiley. After a 10-year hiatus, the Chilliwack, BC native has returned to school to study life science courses with the hopes of being admitted to medical school.

April 03, 2017

Alden Hadwen is Director of Community Engagement at Aimia, a marketing and loyalty analytics company that runs the Aeroplan rewards program. Moved by the devastation caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and seeing an opportunity to make a difference, Alden helped arrange a large donation of Aeroplan miles to MSF to offset travel costs and allow for more donor support to be directed to MSF’s lifesaving medical work.

April 03, 2017

MSF Canada executive director Stephen Cornish speaks about MSF's decision to release evidence of the Syrian government's use of chemical weapons on civilians.

April 03, 2017

Although the imperative to speak out in the face of atrocity is fundamental to Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s identity, it is rarely a simple decision. Public criticisms of host governments or armed combatants can suddenly deprive our teams of access to the patients who need them most, and in some cases can put those patients directly at risk. Every scenario, moreover, is unique, and MSF must often grapple with difficult ethical dilemmas without the benefit of enough time for reflection or more complete information.

April 03, 2017

While Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) will often decide to speak out about specific issues that affect our patients, the principle of témoignage goes well beyond official statements. It is lived and observed every day by the thousands of MSF staff members who bear witness to suffering on the front lines of humanitarian crises around the world.

April 03, 2017

From its very beginnings, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been driven not only by the need to deliver medical care to people in crisis, but also to tell the world what we see on the front lines of humanitarian emergencies.

March 24, 2017

Every year, hundreds of Canadians work overseas with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), delivering front-line medical care in most of the nearly 70 countries around the world where MSF carries out lifesaving emergency healthcare programs.

March 23, 2017

We must not turn our back on our collective responsibility to welcome refugees with dignity, to extend and review individual asylum claims on their merits and, where the latter is lacking, to ensure returnees are only sent back home or to third countries where it is safe to do so. As Canadians, we must open our eyes to the fact that our government already manages our border’s through a complex system of interdiction.

March 20, 2017

Nicholas Gildersleeve is a Canadian from Frelighsburg, Quebec, who until recently served as Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s head of mission in Bolivia — a country with the world’s highest incidence of Chagas, which is endemic in 60 per cent of its territory. The disease, which is found almost exclusively in Latin America and is transmitted by triatomine insects (also known as “kissing bugs”), is mostly asymptomatic for the first years of infection, but will often eventually result in debilitating complications that can shorten life expectancy by an average of 10 years. Heart complications are the most common cause of death in infected adults.

March 17, 2017

In 2016, 343 Canadians worked with MSF in more than 60 countries worldwide as doctors, nurses, logisticians, coordinators, heads of mission, engineers, administrators, medical specialists and more.