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A vaccine against cholera is being used on a large scale for the first time in Ethiopia by teams from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). The mass immunization campaign will protect South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia’s Gambella region, as well as the host community, against the risk of cholera spreading across the border from neighbouring South Sudan, where an epidemic had been declared in June

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Renewed fighting has flared up following unrest in the PK5 neighbourhood of Bangui, the capital of Central African Republic (CAR), where some 2,200 Muslims still reside. Local militiamen have clashed with the international forces present in Bangui.

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This story appears in the Summer 2014 issue of Dispatches, the MSF Canada magazine. To download the complete magazine or to read previous issues, please visit our Publications page.

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Eleven days after militants from the Islamic State (IS) group stormed the district of Sinjar in Iraq, a constant stream of thousands of exhausted people continues to cross into Syria on a daily basis. They are heading to the relative safety of the northern border between Syria and Iraq.

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In Bentiu, South Sudan, close to 40,000 people have been living in a crowded and flooded United Nations (UN) compound since last December, when the outbreak of civil war drove many people from their homes in search of safety.  The living conditions in the camp are horrific, but for residents it is the only refuge available from continuing violence.

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Dr. Armand Sprecher is a doctor with  Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), who specializes in hemorrhagic fevers. In the interview below he responds to questions about the treatment available for Ebola, and whether experimental drugs can form part of MSF's response to the disease outbreak currently affecting West Africa.

 

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Emergency teams from the international medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are continuing their efforts to fight the Ebola epidemic in West Africa. The disease has claimed 932 lives, according to the World Health Organization, since the outbreak began in March this year. Over recent weeks, MSF teams have seen a worrying surge in the epidemic, with the number of cases increasing dramatically in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and the disease spreading to many more villages and towns.

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Tens of thousands of people fleeing major military operations in the Pakistani region of North Waziristan have crossed the border into Afghanistan over the past months, seeking refuge in Khost, Paktia and Paktika provinces. In response, teams from Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) are providing medical and humanitarian aid at the Gulan refugee camp in Khost province.

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Communities and displaced populations living in congested camps with poor hygiene and sanitation are at high risk of contracting cholera in South Sudan. Since the beginning of July this year, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams in Upper Nile State have treated over 904 patients for cholera. The teams have set up two treatment centres in Malakal and Wau Shilluk, where they are treating cholera patients from affected areas. 

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As the Ebola outbreak continues to spread, with 1,093 cases and 660 deaths now reported across West Africa, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is stepping up its response in the most affected areas. While the number of cases in Guinea has declined significantly, in neighbouring Sierra Leone and Liberia more and more people are being infected with the virus.

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