Four powerful blogs from Doctors Without Borders - May 2019

From finding hope in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai, to a deeply personal post about humanitarian mental health, here are four powerful stories from our work around the world this month...

1. Flowers in dark water: Recovering from Cyclone Idai


Someone crouches down to unearth something essential that is invisible to my eyes: tired hands dig out family portraits, a T-shirt, someone’s favourite mirror. Memories of a life buried by the rain.

"Nothing symbolises the destruction caused by Cyclone Idai in Mozambique more than the trees," writes Brazilian doctor Ana in this poetic blog. She shares the humbling and at times heartbreaking stories of those who survived the devastation of this massive natural disaster.





2. Noma in Nigeria: "The resilience of our patients is astounding"


It was a delightful evening and the energy of the performers compelled even the shy and awful dancer in me to join the fun.

Noma is an overlooked but dangerous disease that can leave often young patients severely disfigured - their faces changed forever by a gangrenous infection. Hafiz, a surgeon from India, shares his experience of providing life-changing reconstructive surgery in Nigeria.





3. "Women deserve excellent care, the world over"


Women know that the care here is safe, and they come from villages many miles away to give birth.

From morning clinics to late-night emergencies, UK midwife Hannah takes us inside a remote hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Here, despite the enormous challenges faced by her patients, she believe that some things in midwifery are always the same, "whether you're from Nyange or Newcastle-upon-Tyne".




4. Mental health: Tales of a burnt-out boy


Robert Malies working as a logistician for MSF

We are all different, with different needs, triggers and levels or tolerance, but we all have our limits.

After several assignments with MSF, Robert was preparing to depart for Cameroon... but something felt wrong this time. In this deeply personal but powerful blog, the British logistician opens up about the issue of humanitarian mental health, misconceptions about stress and anxiety, and learning to find peace with himself.




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