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September 22, 2016

Rafah Ali and Basil Abdullah are a married couple from Mississauga, Ontario, who each recently resigned from their respective medical jobs in Canada in order to work overseas with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The pair had decided it was time to recommit themselves to a common goal of giving back.

May 15, 2014

Aliaa Tayea is an epidemiologist with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF). She recently returned home to Mississauga, Ont., from Uzbekistan, where she spent the last 21 months working as part of a tuberculosis (TB) program. The experience gave her a new perspective on the challenges faced by TB patients, in particular those undergoing the difficult treatment for drug-resistant forms of the illness.

MSF program manager Filipe Ribero has conducted several evaluations at sites where displaced persons are living in Tbilisi and Gori.  In the field, there is a sharp contrast between a massive influx of international aid and limited opportunities — for now — to provide assistance. What is the current situation in Georgia?

Fighting has calmed in and around the breakaway region of South Ossetia, and the warring parties have reached a ceasefire agreement. The short, violent conflict has displaced a lot of people in Georgia, South Ossetia and the Northern Caucasus region of Russia. As of 20 August, MSF is still unable to access South Ossetia, the area where the conflict had broken out, in order to conduct an independent needs assessment and provide medical and humanitarian aid to the population if necessary.

An MSF emergency team based in Tbilisi has been able to gain access to the separatist province of South Ossetia and visit Tskhinvali Hospital. MSF, which already provides support to displaced people in Tbilisi, has offered to provide medical assistance in South Ossetia. On August 23 an MSF team was able to gain access to Tskhinvali in Southern Ossetia, visiting the republican hospital in this city where intense fighting broke out on August 7. The situation has been slowly returning to normal in the aftermath of the peace accord signed by Russia and Georgia.

In Tbilisi, MSF emergency teams are providing medical aid to those who have fled the fighting among Russians, Ossetians, and Georgians in South Ossetia. They are chiefly offering medical attention to people in shelters, some of them very elderly. Kalistine G. is having a hard time getting used to her new surroundings. This 82-year-old native of Georgia has been in Tbilisi for several days, where she has found refuge in an abandoned building that used to house the former Finance Ministry.

Month In Focus – April 2012 DR Congo – An alarming surge in malaria
Chad – On the brink of a peak in malnutrition
Paraguay – The scourge of the vinchuca
Uzbekistan – Tuberculosis shows resistance
Haiti – Medical certificates for cholera patients