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What we do

Médecins Sans Frontières brings medical humanitarian assistance to victims of conflict, natural disasters, epidemics or healthcare exclusion.

We treat patients suffering from a wide array of illnesses and health needs. Here you will find some of the main needs we see and what we do about them.

Discover the main crises we work in, the consequences faced by affected people and challenges in delivering care.

 
Treating multi drug resistant TB and HIV/AIDS in Manipur, India
Crisis Settings

Access to medicines

Unaffordable, unavailable, not adapted - people around the world face these challenges in accessing lifesaving medicines.
 
Medical Activities

Antibiotic resistance

Antibiotic resistance is a serious and growing phenomenon in contemporary medicine and has emerged as one of the pre-eminent public health concerns of the 21st century.
 
East Aleppo
In Focus

Attacks on medical care

Attacks against medical facilities and health workers, whether deliberate or indiscriminate, are part of generalised violence and atrocities committed against civilians in armed conflict. They deprive populations of health services, often when they need them the most.
 
Migrants and Refugees in Mexico shelters
In Focus

Central American Migration

Every year, an estimated 500,000 people flee extreme violence and poverty in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras and head north through Mexico to find safety. The high levels of violence in the region are comparable to that in war zones where MSF has worked for decades.
 
MSF Measles Vaccination in DRC
Medical Activities

Child health

Around the world, Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) teams are working to protect the health of children.
 
Cholera intervention in South Kivu
Medical Activities

Cholera

Although easy to prevent and treat, cholera affects up to 4 million people worldwide per year, resulting in up to 140,000 deaths.
 
Ebola Treatment Centre (ETC) in Bikoro
In Focus

DRC 2018 Ebola outbreaks

On 1 August 2018, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) declared an outbreak of Ebola in the northeast, the second outbreak of the disease in the country this year.
 
516330807JM094_LIBERIA_RACE Extreme Medicine Exhibition Print
Medical Activities

Ebola and Marburg

Ebola and Marburg haemorrhagic fevers are rare but deadly. Outbreaks can kill 25 to 90 per cent of those infected, spreading fear and panic. No cure exists and treatment is mainly symptomatic.
 
MSF responds to typhoid outbreak in Harare.
Crisis Settings

Epidemics and pandemics

Millions of people still die each year from infectious diseases that are preventable or can be treated.
 
Cambodia Hep-C
Medical Activities

Hepatitis C

Worldwide, an estimated 71 million people are infected with the hepatitis C virus, double the number living with HIV. While hepatitis C can be cured, few people have access to treatment.
 
Fighting Hepatitis E in Am Timan Hospital, Chad - January 2017
Medical Activities

Hepatitis E

Hepatitis E is transmitted by ingesting water contaminated by an infected person’s faeces. Outbreaks are often documented in places with poor sanitation, like camps for refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs). Hepatitis E commonly causes only a mild short-term illness.
 
AIDS in era of antiretrovirals
Medical Activities

HIV/AIDS

Nearly 1 million people die each year from HIV/AIDS, while nearly 2 million people become newly infected with the virus.
 
Kala Azar in Bihar
Medical Activities

Kala azar

Two hundred million people are at risk of infection with kala azar - one of the world's most dangerous topical diseases. Only malaria is more deadly.
 
Kunduz Hospital After the Attack
In Focus

Kunduz hospital attack

On 3 October 2015, US airstrikes destroyed our trauma hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, killing 42 people. Our request for an independent investigation has so far gone unanswered.
 
Rann
In Focus

Lake Chad Crisis

Armed conflict has forced over 2.3 million people to flee their homes across the Lake Chad Basin. Violence and multiple forced displacement have destroyed what ability people had to support themselves, with many dependent on humanitarian assistance.
 
Magaria pediatric unit and ITFC
Medical Activities

Malaria

Each year, malaria kills nearly half a million people. 70 per cent of all deaths are children under five years of age.
 
Patiente Ngangu, MSF nurse
Medical Activities

Malnutrition

More than 224 million children around the world last year suffered from malnutrition. It is the underlying contributing factor in nearly half of the deaths of children under five years of age.
 
Mulongo Rougeole MSFf (Kamalondo)
Medical Activities

Measles

Last year our teams vaccinated over 1.5 million people against measles. But the highly contagious viral disease remains one of the leading killers of young children.
 
Rescue of a third rubber boat on Wednesday, November 1st.
In Focus

Mediterranean migration

Every year, thousands of people fleeing war, persecution and poverty at home attempt the treacherous journey across the Mediterranean. Countless lives are lost on the way.
 
Nigeria: Fighting the worst meningitis C epidemic in nine years
Medical Activities

Meningitis

Meningococcal meningitis is a highly contagious bacterial form of meningitis – a serious inflammation of the meninges – the thin lining that surrounds the brain and spinal cord.
 
Ebola Survivor Health in Tonkolili, Sierra Leone, Oct 2015
Medical Activities

Mental health

Where we work, we may see people with a mental illness or confronting distressing situations, such as violence, loss or displacement. Mental health support can be crucial to help people cope.
 
Philippines: responding to Typhoon Tembin
Crisis Settings

Natural disasters

Within a matter of minutes, natural disasters can affect the lives of tens of thousands of people. Hundreds or even thousands of people can be injured, homes and livelihoods destroyed. Access to clean water, healthcare services and transport can also be disrupted. The impact of each disaster varies greatly and our response must adapt to each situation.
 
Kala Azar: fighting a neglected disease in remote India
Medical Activities

Neglected diseases

Stimulating awareness about the urgent need for new, better treatment and tests for diseases like leishmaniasis, sleeping sickness and Chagas disease is key to our work.
 
Sameer Rawashdeh
Medical Activities

Non-communicable diseases

Non-communicable diseases are not transmitted from one person to another. One could cite the cardiovascular diseases (cardiovascular or cerebrovascular accidents), cancers, chronic respiratory diseases (such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or asthma) and diabetes.
World Malaria Day 2018 in DRC
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)

Independent medical humanitarian assistance

We provide medical assistance to people affected by conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare. Our teams are made up of tens of thousands of health professionals, logistic and administrative staff - most of them hired locally. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of independence and impartiality. We are a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organisation.

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