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July 20, 2015

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) applauds the results of the Strategic Timing of Antiretroviral Treatment (START) trial, released today at the International AIDS Society Conference (IAS) in Vancouver, showing that immediate treatment is beneficial for the individual regardless of the status of his or her immune system.

January 29, 2015

Three weeks later after Malawi was devastated by the largest floods in living memory, people are still struggling to get on with their lives. Some must also continue to plan for events that even floods can’t disrupt — like the arrival of a new baby. The following piece tells the story of Berita, an expectant mother who had to overcome unanticipated adversity to deliver her new baby.

January 16, 2015

* story updated below

Up to 20,000 people in the southern tip of Malawi most affected by the current floods remain cut off from the rest of the country, without food, health care or ways to prevent possible outbreaks, the humanitarian medical organization Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors without Borders (MSF) said on Friday.

May 31, 2013

Near the end of the second community outreach clinic day, organized specifically for Commercial Sex Workers (CSW) in Nsanje, Malawi, Isabella, a shy young woman arrives. That day, she and two of her friends are tested for HIV and her test result is positive. Through counseling and encouragement to start antiretroviral (ARV) treatment, Isabella finally admits to the counselor that she already knew she was positive. She had missed two appointments at the hospital ARV treatment clinic and, after this, she had been too embarrassed to go back. Instead, she is taking pills from friends – honestly or dishonestly – to continue her medication. Scared, she came to our clinic looking for help.

New MSF report "Help Wanted : Confronting the health care worker crisis to expand access to HIV/AIDS treatment"

Following a directive from the government of Sri Lanka earlier this week, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) withdrew its staff today from Kilinochchi town in the LTTE-controlled Vanni. MSF is very concerned about the possible consequences of ongoing hostilities for the population still living in the area, and the impact of displacement on the health of the population. MSF urges both parties to the conflict to ensure that all possible measures are taken to protect civilians from the impact of the conflict, and to allow assistance to resume as soon as possible.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is very concerned for the safety of an estimated 250,000 people trapped in heavy fighting in the Vanni district of Sri Lanka. Hundreds of civilians are reported to have been wounded and killed during the last days as the area controlled by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) has shrunk in the face of the government of Sri Lanka’s military offensive. MSF has received reports from the Vanni area that the plight of the civilians is dire. Hospitals are coping to the best of their ability, but are running low on drugs and medical staff.

On Jan. 29, 226 sick and wounded civilians, 51 of them children, were evacuated by the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN from the Vanni district of Sri Lanka. Delays at the government checkpoint in Omanthai meant that patients were arriving throughout the evening and night and into the very early morning in Vavuniya Hospital. Some were newly wounded during the recent fighting, while others were suffering from festering wounds up to two or three weeks old.  In the fighting many patients lost limbs due to shrapnel and shells.

Wounded, shocked and distressed. After having fled heavy fighting in the Vanni area of Sri Lanka, people arriving in Vavuniya hospital need both medical care and counselling. Working with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), mental health worker Karen Stewart hears their stories and shares them here. People arrive here in a state of extreme anxiety and fear. They have been separated from their families and often have no news about their fate. Young children and the elderly travelling with their caretakers claim they were separated at a checkpoint.

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