Healthcare in Syria, rabies in the Congo - MSF Weekly Scrapbook #48

It's been a busy week here at MSF. From Syria to Gaza, the Congo to Iraq, there is no end to efforts being launched worldwide. A rabies outbreak in the Congo leaves doctors horrified, while Iraqis are in urgent need of psychological care. All this and more in this week's scrapbook.

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  1. In the news

  2. A #Syrian man who rented a #donkey to support him in carrying his goods, walking towards the last check point between #Syria and #Iraqi #Kurdistan. After the sudden influx in August 15 2013, #MSF teams set up health posts on both sides of the #border, providing #medical consultations and distributing #water to #refugees waiting to be transferred to several #transit #camps which are currently being set up in #Dohuk, #Erbil and #Sulaymaniya governorates. On the Iraqi side of the border, MSF teams have provided more than 628 general healthcare consultations. Iraq 2013 © Diala Ghassan/MSF
    A #Syrian man who rented a #donkey to support him in carrying his goods, walking towards the last check point between #Syria and #Iraqi #Kurdistan. After the sudden influx in August 15 2013, #MSF teams set up health posts on both sides of the #border, providing #medical consultations and distributing #water to #refugees waiting to be transferred to several #transit #camps which are currently being set up in #Dohuk, #Erbil and #Sulaymaniya governorates. On the Iraqi side of the border, MSF teams have provided more than 628 general healthcare consultations. Iraq 2013 © Diala Ghassan/MSF
  3. Domeez refugee camp

    Our counsellors and psychologists are seeing growing numbers of patients presenting with far more acute symptoms than a year ago, when the mental health services began.

    In 2012, around seven percent of MSF’s mental health patients in Domeez displayed symptoms of a severe mental disorder. In 2013, this number has more than doubled to 15 percent.

    “The psychological situation in Domeez camp is an emergency in itself,” says Ana Maria Tijerino, Mental Health Advisor for MSF.
  4. Healthcare in Syria

    Read about the challenges of providing primary healthcare in Syria, featuring Dr Declan Barry, a paediatric doctor from the UK just back from working in Syria with Médecins Sans Frontières. 

    "Clinics can run without doctors but it is difficult to function without nurses," he said.
  5. Trauma relief in Gaza

    In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, on October 1st  we extended our reconstructive plastic surgery programme at Gaza’s Nasser hospital in Khan Younis to Al-Shifa hospital. 

    “We hope that our work at Al-Shifa Hospital will increase the number of patients receiving treatment and reduce the Ministry of Health’s waiting list”, says Tommaso Fabbri, MSF Head of Mission in Jerusalem.

    The programme provides treatment to victims of trauma, domestic accidents, burns and other injuries and aims to help patients regain optimum use of their limbs.

  6. Rabies outbreak in the Congo

    At least 10 people have died of rabies following an outbreak in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).


    The outbreak has infected 154 people, including a father and son who were bitten by a member of their own family. The father, 27, and his seven-year-old son, were infected after being bitten by a younger son who was dying of the disease.


    Dr Jantina Mandelkow, who leads MSF's team in Lemera, in DRC's South Kivu region, said: "I held my breath when I heard that a child dying of rabies had bitten and infected his father and brother - it was horrific."

  7. Insights into treating malaria

    Every year, malaria kills around  660,000 people and infects more than 200 million. Ninety percent of these deaths occur in sub-Saharan Africa. Expert Martin De Smet talks about the difficulties of vacinating against the disease in hard to reach area's where the disease is prevalent.

    "Any progress on fighting malaria is very welcome, and this vaccine could be another important weapon in our armoury," 

    Check our Malaria page and interactive guide for more information regarding the illness. 

  8. Lampedusa disaster

    As a delegation of European and Italian leaders visit the Sicilian island of Lampedusa to honour all those who tragically lost their lives trying to reach the European coast, we call on members of the European Union to recognise the human cost of their repressive migration policies.

    “EU member states can no longer ignore the human cost of their policies,” said Freya Raddi, MSF coordinator of operations.

  9. On the blogs

  10. Once again we hear from the brave and inspiring Gibson, who is fighting a lengthy battle with MDR-TB in Zimbabwe. Twenty-two-year-old Zolelwa also chimes in with an update into her treatment almost a year after she had been diagnosed with MDR-TB. And Dr Jess, an Australian doctor working with us in Pakistan, tells us about her experiences running obstetric projects in the turbulent country. 
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