Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Médecins Sans Frontières

These folks are getting way too little attention and support. Amid the Parisian upheavals of May 1968, a group of young doctors decided to go and help victims of wars and major disasters. This new brand of humanitarianism would reinvent the concept of emergency aid. They were to become Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), known internationally in English as Doctors Without Borders. Medics in Emergencies … for a number of years, Max Recamier and Pascal Greletty-Bosviel— volunteer doctors with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Geneva— had been regularly intervening in armed conflicts. ... "Contrary to popular belief, the Red Cross is not a medical organization at all," says Max Recamier. "Pascal and myself were the only two doctors they knew because of our previous mission in Yemen, so they asked us to find some doctors for the ICRC. The first one to volunteer was Bernard Kouchner, who was much younger than I was; he was just finishing his studies and hadn't even finished his thesis yet, but he volunteered to go over there." A team of six set off on the ICRC mission to Biafra: two doctors—Max Recamier and Bernard Kouchner— as well as two clinicians and two nurses. Being thrown into such a bloody conflict was a real shock for these fledgling doctors, who found themselves having to provide war surgery in hospitals that were regularly targeted by the Nigerian armed forces. … . . . In the following three years, other doctors began to speak up. These doctors, or "Biafrans," as they were known, began to lay the foundations for a new and questioning form of humanitarianism that would ignore political or religious boundaries and prioritize the welfare of those suffering. "A New Medicine" In 1971, Raymond Borel and Philippe Bernier, journalists from the medical review Tonus, issued an appeal to establish a band of doctors to help people suffering in the midst and wake of major disasters. The "Biafrans," who had been attempting to start an emergency medical response group themselves, jumped at the chance. ... MSF was officially created on December 22, 1971. At the time, 300 volunteers made up the organization: doctors, nurses, and other staff, including the 13 founding doctors and journalists. (it's a heck of a story) Since 1980, MSF has opened offices in 28 countries and employs more than 30,000 people across the world. Since its founding, MSF has treated over a hundred million patients— with 8.3 million outpatient consultations being carried out in 2012 alone. MSF has also maintained its institutional and financial independence, and the organization has continued to be criticial of both itself and the broader aid system when appropriate, all in the name of trying to help direct more effective and timely aid to those who need it most.
Doctors Without Borders are needed >>> and need help more than ever.
Doctors Without Borders Fight on Ebola's Front Lines Scientific American health and medicine correspondent Dina Fine Maron talks with Armand Sprecher of Doctors Without Borders, who has fought Ebola in Guinea and Liberia. And Steve talks Ebola with Stanford's David Relman, chair of the Forum on Microbial Threats of the Institute of Medicine - November 14, 2014 |By Dina Fine Maron and Steve Mirsky <span style="color:green]To hear the interview link">