TESOL Direct encourages support for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
- May 12, 2016
- Posted by: TESOL Direct
- Category: TESOL News
What is MSF?
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an independent international medical humanitarian organisation (NGO) that delivers emergency aid in more than 60 countries to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters or exclusion from healthcare. MSF was awarded the 1999 Nobel Peace Prize.
TESOL Direct supports MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières) and encourages support for MSF international aid and disaster relief and other operations in poorer countries. We donate £5 to MSF from every enrolment and encourage your support in any way that you can.
What Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) does
MSF’s core work is providing medical aid in crisis situations – armed conflicts, epidemics, famines and natural disasters such as floods and earthquakes. All these situations call for a rapid response with specialised medical and logistical help.
MSF has projects in more than 60 countries
Every year MSF sends out around 3000 doctors, nurses, logisticians, water-and-sanitation experts, administrators and other professionals to work alongside approximately 25 000 locally hired staff. Together they run medical projects in more than 60 countries around the world. MSF opens and closes a number of individual projects each year, responding to acute crises, monitoring situations as they develop and remaining flexible to the changing needs of patients. A number of projects may be running simultaneously in a single country as needed.
Beyond the urgency of acute crises, MSF teams also work in situations where the health care system is simply inadequate. MSF provides basic health care and disease prevention in refugee situations, areas of persistent instability or places that are so remote that health care is virtually unheard of. MSF has pioneered HIV/AIDS treatment in the world’s poorest regions and we campaign for fairer access to medicines for the world’s poorest people.
Medical and material aid
MSF teams deliver both medical aid (including consultations with a doctor, hospital care, nutritional care, vaccinations, surgery, obstetrics and psychological care) and material aid (food, shelter, blankets etc). When necessary, MSF teams also repair or construct medical and sanitation facilities.
As well as medical roles (doctors, surgeons, nurses, midwives, laboratory technicians and mental health specialists) many other experienced professionals are needed. Logistics managers, water and sanitation experts, financial and HR coordinators all contribute to rapid and effective medical care.
Dedicated, motivated and experienced, they make a commitment to spend between nine months and a year abroad, often in remote locations. Long hours, frustration, difficult working conditions and some level of personal risk could all be in a day’s work. Equally, job satisfaction, learning new skills and a profound sense of achievement are just as likely.
Many volunteers leave well-paid jobs to offer their expertise. MSF offers a stipend of approximately £700 a month whilst they are overseas to cover expenses.
In most places where MSF works, for every one international volunteer there are at least ten locally employed staff who are the backbone of every MSF project. Without these staff MSF could not function; many are trained doctors, nurses and logistics managers with essential local knowledge which can be invaluable. In unstable situations they know who is trustworthy, where it is safe to travel and where it is not. It is often the local staff who continue to provide care when MSF leaves or when circumstances force an evacuation of international staff.
A body of evidence
In 2008 MSF:
- conducted 8.8 million consultations
- performed 47,415 major surgeries
- treated 212,565 severely malnourished children
- vaccinated 2,855,957 children
- distributed 681 million litres of clean water
- assisted with 101,858 deliveries
- provided care to 15,145 victims of sexual violence
For more information about the work of Médecins Sans Frontières, please visit the MSF website.