From the Executive Director
As the Chinese saying “planning the year in spring” suggests, MSF field workers have been preparing themselves for the global humanitarian work in the coming year.
First let’s look at the conflict areas. The Syrian war is entering its fifth year. More than 200,000 people have been killed and 7 million people are internally displaced. MSF should be running large-scale medical programmes in the country, but due to the targeting of medical workers and the abduction of five of our staff at the beginning of 2014, we were forced to significantly reduce our activities. Although we are still supporting more than 100 medical facilities in the country, it is just a drop in the ocean when compared with the largely unmet humanitarian needs.
And then there is the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. We have been working in the region since the outbreak started in March 2014, and it is encouraging to see the number of patient decreasing in the past few months. However, the epidemic is not over yet and we have to push to target “zero cases” and completely stamp out the disease. In the meantime, a lot of effort is needed to rebuild the health system for ordinary patients in the three most affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. We have to make sure they can see a doctor when they are sick.
In this issue of Borderline there are stories from MSF-Hong Kong field workers who went to West Africa as Ebola fighters, presenting a picture of how an Ebola treatment centre works and the challenges they faced during their missions. There is also Medical Info that sheds light on another disease, measles, which seems very controllable in our society but which can take a terrible toll in much poorer countries.
Thank you again for your continuous support towards MSF and our work, and I hope you enjoy the read.
Rémi Carrier, Executive Director, Médecins Sans Frontières Hong Kong