Country/Region

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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It’s July 21, 2014, and the sun is setting over Gaza. “It’s going to be a busy night,” says Alaa, a driver with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Gaza City. With missiles from Israeli tanks and navy ships exploding a few kilometres from MSF’s local base, the organization’s surgical team heads for Al Shifa hospital, where medical staff are already anticipating a large influx of wounded. 

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Heavy fighting in central and northern Helmand Province between the Afghan forces and opposition forces has led to an increase in the numbers of war-wounded presenting to the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF)-supported Boost Hospital, in Lashkargah. During the most intense phase of the fighting, from June 21 to July 5, MSF medical teams working in the hospital treated 68 patients with injuries related to the clashes.

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From July 20 to 25, the international community will gather at the International AIDS conference in Melbourne, Australia, in order to explore strategies to beat the greatest pandemic of our times. HIV still kills 1.6 million people every year, most of them in poor countries of sub-Saharan Africa. In order to bring life-saving antiretroviral treatment (ART) to the nearly 16 million who still need it worldwide, it is crucial to alleviate one of the main barriers preventing them from accessing care: distance to the health centres where they can get these drugs.

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A cholera outbreak that began in January in Bauchi State, northeastern Nigeria, is now over. More than 15,500 cases were reported, about 14,000 of which were treated by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams in Bauchi.   

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Women, men and children are being abducted for months at a time by armed militias and made to work as sex slaves and forced labourers in the gold and diamond mining region of the Okapi forest, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), in a terror campaign that shows no signs of stopping.

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The intensity of bombings in the Israeli military operation “Protective Edge” makes it extremely dangerous for the population — and for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) medical teams  in Gaza to move around. As of today, hospitals in Gaza are managing to cope with the influx of wounded arriving.

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Over the last two weeks, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has treated more than 70 patients with symptoms resembling those of Ebola in Kailahun treatment centre, eastern Sierra Leone. MSF is concerned about a possible increase in patients in the coming weeks, as teams on the ground start working to find people sick with the virus.

“To accommodate growing patient numbers, MSF has expanded the capacity of the treatment centre from 32 to 65 beds”, says MSF emergency coordinator Anja Wolz.

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The Ebola fever epidemic currently raging in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone is of an unprecedented scale. Since March this year, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has treated more than 250 confirmed cases.

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Since late 2013, violence in northern and western Iraq has increased dramatically, with grave consequences for civilians caught in the crossfire. In recent weeks, some 500,000 people have reportedly fled Iraq’s second city, Mosul, after it came under the control of armed opposition groups. Fabio Forgione, MSF’s head of mission, brings us the latest from Iraq.

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