Fieldset
Five eye-opening blogs from Doctors Without Borders - March 2020

COVID-19, Ebola, detention in Libya, the Greek refugee crisis - our teams are responding to humanitarian healthcare crises across the world. Hear from our staff working both on the ground and behind the scenes in this collection of eye-opening blogs.

About 8,000 people live in the overcrowded Vathy refugee camp on the island of Samos, which was built to accommodate only 650 people

1. COVID-19: What the coronavirus pandemic can teach us about universal healthcare

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Neglected people will be the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Neglected people will be the worst affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

How are you supposed to wash your hands regularly if you have no running water or soap? How can you implement ‘social distancing’ if you live in a slum or a refugee camp?

As the world comes together to tackle COVID-19, people everywhere are taking steps to protect themselves and their families. But for some, this just isn't an option. MSF Director of Analysis Jonathan offers a reality check on the global pandemic.

JONATHAN'S STORY >


2. "If we don't go, who will?": The Ebola workers risking their lives to save patients

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MSF nurse Courtney Bercan in full protective personal equipment.
MSF nurse Courtney Bercan in full protective personal equipment.

Within hours it was clear that Ebola was going to win this fight and medical staff who had dutifully cared for this patient over the last few stressful days removed his oxygen mask, lowering his eyelids and straightening his sheet over him for the last time

When an Ebola treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo is attacked and all but deserted, MSF nurse Courtney must decide whether she will go to the conflict zone to keep it open. She reveals the impact violence has on patients and staff, and introduces us to the inspiring Ebola workers who refuse to leave.

COURTNEY'S STORY >


3. Libya: The forgotten ones

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In the Dahr-el-Jebel detention centre, between the towns of Zintan and Yefren, nearly 500 people, most from Eritrea and Somalia, remain locked up.
In the Dahr-el-Jebel detention centre, between the towns of Zintan and Yefren, nearly 500 people, most from Eritrea and Somalia, remain locked up.

There is not enough food to go around, and the cells – which the migrants are rarely allowed to leave – are dark and either very cold or very hot. The long days are punctuated by the sound of keys in locks and rattling bars.

We regularly hear about the "war in Libya" and the "European migration crisis" in the news, but what is it actually like on the streets of Libya and in the detention centres, where many refugees and migrants find themselves arbitrarily detained? MSF migration advisor Michaël shares his experience visiting Libya and his insights into this complex humanitarian crisis. 

MICHAEL'S STORY >


4. Greek refugee crisis: "How could this ever become normality?"

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Vathy refugee camp on Samos was built for 650 people but currently hosts about 8,000
Vathy refugee camp on Samos was built for 650 people but currently hosts about 8,000

As I stand in the Vathy refugee camp on the island of Samos at the end of January, I can hardly imagine that somewhere in Europe there is a place where people have to live under even worse conditions

The horrific conditions in refugee camps on the Greek islands have made headlines around the world. But, nothing can prepare MSF communications specialist Valeska for what she finds when she visits two camps on Samos and Lesvos.

VALESKA'S STORY >


5. "We're being attacked in the Ebola treatment centre": Reflections after the fire

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The Ebola treatment centre in Katwa was torched just days before a similar attack in Butembo.
The Ebola treatment centre in Katwa was torched just days before a similar attack in Butembo.

It is excruciatingly horrible to hear your own staff – in effect your family – coming under gunfire

In the wake of an armed attack on an Ebola treatment centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo, aid workers were pushed to radically rethink their approach to the disease. MSF emergency coordinator Trish shares the lessons learned.

TRISH'S STORY >

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