Mariko Miller is a Canadian emergency nurse working with MSF in Kirkuk, in northern Iraq, where MSF teams are providing healthcare to people forced from their homes by armed conflict, and supporting emergency care in two hospitals. Here she blogs about meeting patients from Hawija, a district southwest of Kirkuk, which has been under the control of armed groups for more than two years.
"The first thing I noticed was the huge scar that he has on his wrist. We began to talk about everything and nothing: from the Africa Cup of Nations football league to his crossing of the Mediterranean. I gain his confidence, he trusts me and decides to tell me his story."
Our teams use Land Cruisers to get our patients, supplies and staff to where they need to be, across often challenging terrains. But Land Cruisers are cars, not ambulances, and this means finding a new fix every time a patient needs IV fluids, as these have to be hung upright to ensure the fluids can run freely. In the third instalment of their blog, Josie and Anup get to 'the fun part' of their project - designing and creating innovative solutions to a problem that had been costing vital time in emergencies.
"Before flying out to Am Timan I was briefed at the MSF base in N'djamena, the capital of Chad. The briefing included a section on cultural awareness. I was given a sheet of 'dos & don'ts' and was rather perplexed by one of the guidelines: 'When shaking hands on being introduced to someone do not be the first to spit as it is considered offensive'."
Hella Hultin is a surgeon from Sweden. She is currently on assignment with Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Khameer, Yemen. Here she blogs about her first night in the hospital, when a sudden influx of mass casualties put her on the spot.
When war escalated in Yemen, Sana was abroad, having just qualified as a doctor. Hearing the news, she felt compelled to return to Taiz, scene of some of the conflict's fiercest fighting. Now she works in the malnutrition ward of the Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders mother and child hospital.
I’m impatient to see the country that I love again and terrified it won’t be that country any more; desperate to be there already to help in whatever way I can and desperately wishing that help wasn’t needed.