Fieldset
Five stories that take you behind the scenes with MSF - November 2019

From the rough seas of the Central Mediterranean to the dusty plains of Niger, our teams go wherever they are needed most. As well as providing vital medical aid, they also bear witness, sharing their stories to show you what's really happening on the ground. 

A little boy on board the Ocean Viking, rescued with his mum and newborn sister from a wooden boat in distress

1. The white bed

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From January to September, MSF treated 10,800 children at Magaria District Hospital in the Zinder region of Niger.
From January to September, MSF treated 10,800 children at Magaria District Hospital in the Zinder region of Niger.

“Hang in there,” I whisper to her. “It will be fine”

Every year, food shortages and the rainy season trigger a spike of malnutrition and malaria in Niger, with a dramatic impact on children. At Magaria District Hospital, it's a race against the clock for doctor Viviane and her team as they try to save the life of a severely malnourished young girl... 

 

VIVIANE'S STORY


 

2. Abdul the barber and other stories from the Ocean Viking

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After four days of life-saving rescue missions, Ocean Viking heads north to find a port of safety for all those on board.
After four days of life-saving rescue missions, Ocean Viking heads north to find a port of safety for all those on board.

Clicking through to the next photo, I see Grace. Dignified and stoic, even after days drifting at sea...

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Communications manager Hannah has taken many while documenting MSF and SOS MEDITERRANEE’s life-saving search and rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean Sea. She takes a moment to reflect on the people behind her photos and a humanitarian crisis making headlines around the world.

 

HANNAH'S STORY


 

3. Let's talk about sex: STIs, stigma and South Sudan

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Delivering health promotion activities in South Sudan
Delivering health promotion activities in South Sudan

I'd often find the team of community health workers perched beside the customers drinking tea in the local market, crouched next to the milk-sellers trading their fresh produce or in governmental offices engrossed in conversations about STIs and UTIs

Imagine striking up a conversation about sexually transmitted diseases with a stranger in a public place. Now imagine doing this in a foreign country with an unfamiliar language and culture. Health promoter Elizabeth learns South Sudan is full of surprises...

 

ELIZABETH'S STORY


 

4. The silver chain: How to save a life in Yemen 

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Bullet wounds are common at Al Salakhana hospital in Yemen, which is in the midst of a civil war.
Bullet wounds are common at Al Salakhana hospital in Yemen, which is in the midst of a civil war.

Below my hands his skin is crackling, pockets of gas popping, having escaped an injured lung

Yemen is in the grips of a civil war that has forced millions from their homes and crippled the health system. Project coordinator Georgina takes the reins as an emergency unfolds in Al Salakhana hospital - and learns the importance of impartiality. 

 

GEORGINA'S STORY


 

5. "Maternity! Now!"

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A mother with her newborn baby in the maternity ward in Leer, South Sudan
A mother with her newborn baby in the maternity ward in Leer, South Sudan

The calm yet stern voice commands down the radio. I place my water bottle on the table, turn on my heels and run in the direction of maternity. I am not a midwife. I am a logistician

Logistician Dan is a trained first responder, but when he asks midwife Luise to teach him a few new skills, he's plunged into a life-threatening emergency where both a mother and baby face slim odds of survival. Told from two different perspectives, this story takes us inside the maternity ward in Leer, South Sudan.

 

DAN AND LUISE'S STORY 

 
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