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A year in pictures 2019

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Trying to tell thousands of stories in just over 50 images

After sifting through the more than 8,000 photos that we released over the last 12 months (November 2018 – November 2019), we’ve chosen the below series of simple, yet powerful images we think represented the scope of our work in 2019.

The photographers, whether they are our own staff or commissioned freelancers, were there on the ground capturing these moments as our teams responded to natural disasters, epidemics and conflict in around 70 countries.

What is unique – and rewarding – this year is the diversity of our contributors. We believe each photographer has their own way of seeing, and then representing through the lens, an event, an instant in time. Their reporting is accurate and truthful, a valuable asset for our organisation in these times of propaganda and ‘fake news’. These 54 pictures of the year make up just a part of our témoignage, our bearing witness, to what our teams see and do every day.

Activities in Tegucigalpa, Honduras
A team of MSF health promoters goes door-to-door in Nueva Capital, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, to inform residents of MSF services in local clinics, including care to victims of violence. Honduras, February 2019.
MSF/Christina Simons
 MSF on the migration route to Mexico
A man, his child on his shoulders, looks to jump on a train as they migrate north through Mexico. December 2018.
MSF/Christina Simons
Ana, a woman from Guerrero, one of Mexico’s most violent states, prefers to hide her face as she describes the devastation wrought on her village as a result of the rivalry between armed groups. Mexico, February 2019.
MSF/Juan Carlos Tomasi
Eastern Ukraine Mobile Clinics - Vodiane Village
MSF Nurse Svitlana Plygun examines patient Tetiana, 54, in Vodiane. The mobile clinic in Vodiane operates in an abandoned home with no electricity. Ukraine, February 2019.
MSF/Nico Dauterive
Rohingya in Malaysia: Sawkina Story
27-year-old Rohingya woman Sawkina recovers from a broken leg. Although she was born and raised in Malaysia, she does not have Malaysian nationality. As a divorced woman in a conservative society, she has to rely on herself and her parents to support her and her 13-year-old daughter. Malaysia, April 2019.
Arnaud Finistre
MSF’s activities in the Ex-MOI
A man looks down the staircase in a building that makes up part of the former Turin Winter Olympics Village, where hundreds of migrants and refugees now live in often harsh conditions. MSF runs a project that promotes residents’ access to local health services. Turin, Italy, March 2019.
MSF/Giuseppe La Rosa
Landmines in Taiz and Hodeidah governorates
A child sits near a collection of defused rockets in Mawza, a 45 minute-drive east of Mocha city. Taiz governorate, Yemen, December 2018.
MSF/Agnes Varraine-Leca
Medical activities in Hodeidah, Al Salakhana  hospital
Orthopaedic surgeon Dr Maria Teresa Ingalla examines the x-ray of a patient injured by a gunshot to the abdomen. Al-Salakhana hospital, Hodeidah, Yemen, April 2019.
MSF/Agnes Varraine-Leca
Surgeries in Al-Awda Hospital
MSF surgeons discuss where they will make the first incision in the leg of Yousri, who needed a bone graft after being shot by the Israeli army during protests in Gaza in July 2018. Al-Awda hospital, Palestine, January 2019.
MSF/Jacob Burns
One year after the “bloodbath” of 14 May
Ahmed, 38, a Palestinian shot and wounded by the Israeli army on 14 May 2018, looks around an abandoned building with his children. Palestine, April 2019.
One year after the “bloodbath” of 14 May
Eyad, 23, a Palestinian musician shot and wounded by the Israeli army on 14 May 2018, plays a crutch that he has turned into a flute during a performance of an amateur theatre group in Gaza City. Palestine, April 2019.
MSF's delivery services at the Birth centre, Rafik Hariri University Hospital Campus,
Baby Alaa has just been born, weighing 3 kg and measuring 51 cm, at the MSF birth centre in Rafik Hariri University hospital. Midwife Josianne and Nurse Nagham assisted his mother in the delivery, and both mother and baby are in good health. Beirut, Lebanon, April 2019.
MSF/Severine Sajous
Tanzania, Nduta - November-2018
An MSF staff member assists a woman and her new baby on arrival at Nduta refugee camp. The mother was brought back to the camp after having been referred to Kibondo hospital to give birth because of complications. Tanzania, November 2018.
MSF/Pierre-Yves Bernard
Life inside the Protection of Civilians sites in South Sudan
Nurse Denise, alongside other MSF staff, checks the vital signs of a child admitted to MSF´s hospital in the Malakal Protection of Civilian (PoC) site, in South Sudan. March 2019
MSF/Igor Barbero
The sex workers on the frontlines of the HIV response in Malawi
Maria (not her real name), a sex worker who lives in Dedza, was a victim of violence from one of her clients. Maria received comprehensive HIV prevention and sexual and reproductive services from MSF’s sex worker project in Dedza. Malawi, January 2019.
MSF/Isabel Corthier
The sex workers on the frontlines of the HIV response in Malawi
MSF nurse mentor Chrissie Nasiyo (middle) engages with a group of sex workers during an outreach clinic in Nsanje. Malawi, January 2019.
MSF/Isabel Corthier
Buzi, Mozambique - March 2019
An aerial view of the town Buzi and the devastation caused by Cylone Idai. Mozambique, March 2019.
MSF/Pablo Garrigos
Emergency response in Nhamatanda district
With food stocks dwindling in the wake of Cyclone Idai, children fish for food in cholera-contaminated water. Nhamatanda district, Mozambique, April 2019.
MSF/Mohammad Ghannam
Testimony - Mahamad from Kieke  (Vaccination Site)
Mahamed Mohammad brings his daughter to be vaccinated in Kieke, within the Zakouma National Park, where MSF vaccination teams searched for semi-nomadic families to provide them with measles vaccines. Chad, April 2019.
Juan Haro
Measles outbreak vaccinations in Am Timan district, Chad
MSF teams vaccinate people against measles at a vaccination point set up in the shade of trees in the village of Mina, Am Timan district. Chad, April 2019.
Juan Haro
Violence and neglect in the remote northeast of South Sudan
MSF nurse Bárbara García and Nyamach play with a balloon made from a surgical glove in the inpatient ward of MSF’s hospital in Ulang, in northeastern South Sudan. April 2019.
MSF/Igor Barbero
Violence and neglect in the remote northeast of South Sudan
MSF medical team leader Benjamin Collins examines a child during a mobile clinic in the village of Ying, close to MSF’s hospital in Ulang, northeastern South Sudan. April 2019.
MSF/Igor Barbero
Zamfara: IDP - Rahamu Story
Children of displaced families gather at the old construction site – that was once meant to become the New Emir's Palace of Anka – where they now live. Zamfara state, Nigeria, July 2019.
Benedicte Kurzen/NOOR
Medical activities in Haydan hospital, Saada governorate
People wait for a consultation outside the triage zone of MSF’s Haydan hospital. Saada governorate, Yemen, April 2019.
MSF/Agnes Varraine-Leca
Daily life in Saada city
A family in a camp for internally displaced people in Sa’ada city, Yemen, April 2019.  
MSF/Agnes Varraine-Leca
Deterioration of humanitarian situation for the displaced in northern Abs
A girl holds her young brother in a displaced people’s camp in northern Abs. Yemen, April 2019
MSF/Al Hareth Al Maqaleh
Migrants and refugees in Zintan and Gharyan detention centres in Libya
Detained refugees look out through a gap in the gate at the Zintan detention centre. Libya, June 2019.
MSF/Jérôme Tubiana
Mental Health testimonies
A 24-year-old displaced Yezidi man, struggling with mental health issues, poses in his tent on Mount Sinjar. Iraq, September 2019.
Emilienne Malfatto
Ocean Viking - Rotation 2 - Rescued Man
Mapechiyou, from Cameroon, watches as the remnants of an empty rubber boat pass on the starboard side of the Ocean Viking, likely evidence of another interception by the Libyan Coast Guard. Mediterranean Sea, September 2019.
MSF/Hannah Wallace Bowman
Ocean Viking - Rotation 2 - Baby and Brother On Board
A six-day-old baby girl, rescued with her mother and brother two days earlier from a wooden boat, sleeps in a makeshift crib in the women's shelter on board the Ocean Viking. Mediterranean Sea, September 2019.
MSF/Hannah Wallace Bowman
Measles campaign in DRC
A mother leaves Lunyeka health centre with her child after getting vaccinated against measles, part of a prevention measure during a massive outbreak of the disease. Kasai province, Democratic Republic of Congo, May 2019.
MSF/Pablo Garrigos
Measles Unit in Biringi Hospital, Ituri Province
Joseph Drobho Giria holds his two-year-old daughter, Bhileru Drobho, who is suffering from measles, in the unit run by MSF at Biringi Hospital, Ituri Province. Democratic Republic of Congo, November 2019.
Alexis Huguet
Advanced HIV in Kinshasa
John* and Jean* hold each other’s arms in the Kabinda hospital centre, which treats people with advanced HIV. Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, August 2019.
MSF/Pablo Garrigos
Measles campaign in DRC
Papa Lazard, health promoter supervisor, sings a song to promote the measles vaccine at Kweba village, Lungonzo district. Democratic Republic of Congo, May 2019. 
MSF/Pablo Garrigos
Lassa Fever - Abakaliki
A water and sanitation team arrives in Ndiovu village, Abakaliki,  to disinfect the house of a patient diagnosed with Lassa fever. Nigeria, May 2019.
MSF/Albert Masias
Emergency response in Ituri
Women and children, displaced by intercommunal violence in Ituri province, gather between the tents in the internally displaced people’s camp in Bunia. Democratic Republic of Congo, June 2019.
MSF/Pablo Garrigos
Rohingya in Malaysia: Context
The silhouette of a young Rohingya man walking to the mosque for Friday prayers in the Bagan Dalam district of Penang. Malaysia, April 2019.
Arnaud Finistre
Closure Insein Clinic, Yangon Myanmar - Minzayar Oo - June 2019
Ma Thinzar, who is HIV-positive and four months’ pregnant with her third child, pauses during a visit to MSF’s Insein clinic. Yangon, Myanmar, June 2019.
Minzayar Oo
Refugees from North-Eastern Syria in Iraq
Syrian Kurdish refugees play soccer inside the Bardarash refugee camp in Iraqi-Kurdistan. Iraq, October 2019.
Moises Saman / Magnum Photos for MSF
New arrivals in Bardaresh Refugee Camp, Iraq
Syrian-Kurd half-brothers Ahmed (right) and Adham (left) sit along the fence line of the Bardarash refugee camp. Iraq, October 2019.
Vincent Haiges
Southern Chhattisgarh Mobile Clinics
Dr Vishwas Reddy attends to patient Karam Laccha, who endured pain for a week when he could no longer pass urine, and then walked with his wife and son for 10 kilometres to find medical care. Telangana state, India, October 2019.
MSF/Tadeu Andre
Palliative care to cancer patients in Bamako, Mali
MSF doctor Djenabou Diallo examines her 77-year-old patient Bambi Gandega, who has breast cancer, in Bamako. Mali, September 2019.
MSF/Mohammad Ghannam
Malawi - Advanced HIV
Manfred, who has tuberculosis and advanced HIV, waits on the bench to be seen by a doctor at Ndamera health centre. Malawi, October 2019.
MSF/Isabel Corthier
Malaria outbreak in North Darfur, Sudan
A mother holds her child in a ward for malaria patients at the paediatrics hospital, in El Fasher, North Darfur. Sudan, October 2019.
MSF/Igor Barbero
Malawi - Advanced HIV
Friends and relatives welcome Austin back home after being discharged from Nsanje District hospital. He was admitted to hospital and diagnosed with advanced HIV. Malawi, October 201
MSF/Isabel Corthier
A section of Baringo
An MSF driver looks out at the roads around Baringo, while on an assessment visit following a reported increase in the number of snakebites in the area. Kenya, May 2019.
MSF/Paul Odongo
Eight-year old Jepngok Kiptui was bitten by a cobra
Eight-year old Jepngok Kiptui feeds her family’s chickens using her right arm. Previously left-handed, she was just three when she was bitten on her left arm by a snake while sleeping in her bed; the bite, which was not able to be treated promptly, resulted in her left arm being disfigured. Kenya, May 2019.
MSF/Paul Odongo
MSF Mobile Clinics and Tea Teams in Somali Region
Camels are watered and used to transport the drinking water for family consumption at a full ‘berkit’ (rainwater collecting clay pond). Somali region, Ethiopia, October 2019.
MSF/Susanne Doettling
Masisi, a neglected crisis in North Kivu
A few villagers bring a sick elderly woman to the MSF-supported health centre in Louashi, Masisi territory, for treatment. North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo, October 2019.
MSF/Pablo Garrigos
Masisi, a neglected crisis in North Kivu
A 12-year-old girl does her homework during the last daylight hours in front of her family’s hut in Kalehe internally displaced people’s camp in Masisi territory. North Kivu province, Democratic Republic of Congo October 2019.
MSF/Pablo Garrigos
MSF floods intervention in Ulang, South Sudan.
A child is checked for malnutrition during MSF’s mobile clinic in Wechniyaath, in the wake of severe flooding in Ulang district. South Sudan, November 2019.
MSF/Nicola Flamigni
Protest in front of J&J Brazil (TB)
Activists protest outside the offices of pharmaceutical corporation Johnson&Johnson in Sao Paolo, demanding the company reduce the price of bedaquiline, a key tuberculosis drug. Brazil, October 2019.
MSF/Julia Chequer
Refugees from North-Eastern Syria in Iraq
Newly-arrived Syrian-Kurdish refugees aboard a bus operated by the International Organization of Migration. Buses transport the newly-arrived refugees from the Sahela Iraq-Syria border crossing to the Bardarash refugee camp in Dohuk Province, Iraqi-Kurdistan. Iraq, November 2019.
Moises Saman / Magnum Photos for MSF
Refugees from North-Eastern Syria in Iraq
A cemetery near the village of Bna contains the bodies of Iraqi Kurds killed in various conflicts, including Saddam Hussein’s Anfal campaign, which killed 60,000 in the late 1980s. Iraq, November 2019.
Moises Saman / Magnum Photos for MSF
Up Next
Democratic Republic of Congo
Interview 24 May 2024