Stories from the Field

Stories from the Field

Staff Stories
Kala azar is one of the most dangerous neglected tropical diseases in the world. It is spread to humans by bites from infected female sand flies and attacks the immune system. While cases of the disease are declining steadily, kala azar-HIV co-infection is fast becoming a serious threat. After…
September 18, 2018
Bihar: "I try to bring hope to patients with kala azar-HIV co-infection through counselling"

Stories from the field

As well as suffering a lack of awareness and social stigma, kala azar-HIV co-infected patients are also prone to other infections, relapse more often and are at a greater risk of death. 39-year-old Zoya shares her story of recovery after being treated for kala azar and HIV at Doctors Without…
Zoya's story: "I have returned from the brink of death"
An experienced nurse, Patient Muhindo Kamavu was one of four experienced MSF nurses who were the first on the ground alongside the Ministry of Health to respond to the Ebola outbreak declared on 1 August in Mangina, Nord Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. A veteran of both Ebola outbreaks this…
DRC: "With the new Ebola outbreak, we knew we had to act fast"
Miriam Alia, an MSF vaccination expert, has just returned from Equateur province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Miriam worked as a medical referent in the area of Itipo, the epicentre of the recent outbreak. She explains how MSF took part in the ring vaccination against the disease and…
DRC: “Congolese health staff have shown an amazing commitment to fight Ebola”
1 July is observed in India as National Doctors’ Day. To mark the occasion we asked three MSFers how they became doctors, and what it means to be a doctor without borders.     Shazeer Majeed  As a kid, I grew up listening to people say I had to be a doctor like my father. I joined M.B.B.S. just…
National Doctors’ Day: “Treating the most vulnerable in the most critical situations”
“At first, we didn’t believe in Ebola,” says Marie-Vincent, a woman recently discharged from MSF’s Ebola treatment centre (ETC) in Bikoro, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). She has just recovered from the virus after her entire family fell sick. Marie-Vincent doesn’t know how old she is, but she…
Paul Jawor, an MSF water and sanitation expert, has just returned from Equateur province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Paul was working in and around the remote village of Iboko, where cases of Ebola have been confirmed. He explains the challenges MSF teams are facing on the frontline…
Democratic Republic of Congo: Fighting Ebola on the ground, a race against time
Covered in dust, four-year-old Ahmed* sits on his father`s lap outside the MSF hospital in west Mosul. The boy devours a biscuit that’s just been handed to him, covering his face in chocolate. For the moment, Ahmed seems distracted from the horrors he`s survived, including the death of his two…
Nigerian refugees in Cameroon are being forcibly returned to northeast Nigeria. In March 2017, three of them told MSF staff their stories.   Mayara*, 35 years old, 16 March 2017 I am originally from a village, not too far from here, but fled to Kolofata in Cameroon more than one year ago…
Photo: Malik Samuel/MSF
As fighting intensifies to control the city of Raqqa, the city’s residents are once again caught in the middle. During six years of war, they have suffered bombing, fighting, persecution and public beheadings. Thousands have risked their lives to cross checkpoints and minefields to reach safer…
MSF staff entering the Meshta Nour hospital, Kobane, Syria. Photo: Jamal Bali/MSF
Swaziland has the highest rate of new cases of tuberculosis in the world. Multidrug-resistant forms of the disease are on the increase.  For many DR-TB patients like Winile, treatment is a long and gruelling two-year journey involving between 15 to 25 toxic tablets every day and daily…
Winile, 39, XDR-TB patient & HIV-positive, received a sign language qualification. She became deaf due to the side effects of the treatment. Matsapha clinic, Manzini Region, Swaziland. Photo: Alexis Huguet/MSF
By Zanele Zwane, MSF Swaziland “You see, I am healed. Even my legs don’t give me problems anymore. Now I can walk perfectly. I walk around the hospital; go out for fresh air and come back when I’m ready,” says an elated Tholakele as she walks around her ward demonstrating her recovery.  …
Tholakele, an MDR-TB patient, was admitted in National TB Hospital, Moneni, Manzini Region, Swaziland  in April 2016. She now spends her days reading her bible. Photo: Alexis Huguet/MSF
Over 290,000 people live in refugee camps in Tanzania`s northwestern Kigoma district, the vast majority coming from neighbouring Burundi. People are crossing the border every day – in January, nearly 19,000 Burundians arrived in Tanzania, according to the UNHCR. Unsanitary and overcrowded…
More than 290,000 people live in refugee camps in Tanzania's northwestern Kigoma district. Photo: Eleanor Weber Ballard/MSF
An experienced nurse, Patient Muhindo Kamavu was one of four experienced MSF nurses who were the first on the ground alongside the Ministry of Health to respond to the Ebola outbreak declared on 1 August in Mangina, Nord Kivu, Democratic Republic of Congo. A veteran of both Ebola outbreaks this…
DRC: "With the new Ebola outbreak, we knew we had to act fast"
Miriam Alia, an MSF vaccination expert, has just returned from Equateur province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Miriam worked as a medical referent in the area of Itipo, the epicentre of the recent outbreak. She explains how MSF took part in the ring vaccination against the disease and…
DRC: “Congolese health staff have shown an amazing commitment to fight Ebola”
1 July is observed in India as National Doctors’ Day. To mark the occasion we asked three MSFers how they became doctors, and what it means to be a doctor without borders.     Shazeer Majeed  As a kid, I grew up listening to people say I had to be a doctor like my father. I joined M.B.B.S. just…
National Doctors’ Day: “Treating the most vulnerable in the most critical situations”
Paul Jawor, an MSF water and sanitation expert, has just returned from Equateur province in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Paul was working in and around the remote village of Iboko, where cases of Ebola have been confirmed. He explains the challenges MSF teams are facing on the frontline…
Democratic Republic of Congo: Fighting Ebola on the ground, a race against time
Kashmir-based medical doctor Samreen Hussain recently returned from Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, where she worked as part of a Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) team providing medical care to Rohingya refugees from Myanmar. In this piece, she describes the challenges posed by the…
Diptheria: Fighting a forgotten disease in Bangladesh
In Jharkhand, an Indian state known for its diverse tribal communities, the number of people that are malnourished is persistently higher than the national average. Since June 2017, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been treating severe acute malnutrition in the town of…
A mother looks on as her child is measured with a MUAC tape for symptoms of malnutrition at Pusalota health centre.
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