DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS
Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international humanitarian organization committed to bringing quality medical care to vulnerable people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, healthcare exclusion and natural or human-made disasters. MSF is independent, neutral and impartial, and is currently treating patients in need regardless of their race, religion, or political affiliation in close to 70 countries.
Operating independent of any political, military, or religious agendas, medical teams conduct evaluations on the ground to determine a population's medical needs before opening programs, aiming to fill gaps that exist (rather than replicating services that are already offered) or reach communities that are not being assisted.
On any given day, more than 30,000 committed individuals representing dozens of nationalities can be found providing assistance to people caught in crises around the world. They are doctors, nurses, logistics experts, administrators, epidemiologists, laboratory technicians, mental health professionals, and others who work together in accordance with MSF's guiding principles of humanitarian action and medical ethics.
Besides providing day-to-day healthcare services such as emergency care and surgery, MSF also works to tackle chronic diseases that need long-term treatment, such as HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis and neglected tropical diseases such as sleeping sickness.
MSF also works to raise awareness and create debate through its policy of 'témoignage'. This means MSF acts as a witness and speaks out, either in private or in public, about the plight of populations it assists. In doing so, MSF sets out to alleviate human suffering, to protect life and health and to restore respect for human beings and their fundamental human rights.
In 1999, MSF was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, "in recognition of [its] pioneering humanitarian work on several continents" and to honour its medical staff, who have treated tens of millions of people. The proceeds from the prize were used to set up a Neglected Disease Fund and the Access Campaign, which helped lower the price of HIV/AIDS treatment and stimulated research and development for medicines to treat malaria and neglected diseases like sleeping sickness and kala azar.
To learn more, visit doctorswithoutborders.org.