I am walking 647km across Jordan to raise money for Doctors Without Borders. This is me, when I worked for MSF in 2013 in Osh, Kyrgyzstan as a laboratory scientist in a project diagnosing and treating people who had TB, with a focus on those who had drug resistant bacterial strains of TB.
What is MSF anyway?
Médecins Sans Frontières also known as Doctors Without Borders, founded in 1971 are a Nobel Peace prize winning medical aid organisation who work independently around the world, funded by private individuals and staffed by international highly skilled doctors, nurses, lab techs, admin, logistic and every other position which can be required in an emergency.
MSF go where they are needed as fast as possible, but they are not only emergency responders, many projects have been running for years. Right now MSF are highlighting their 10 years working to support HIV positive patients in Zimbabwe. MSF have over 300,000 staff and programs in 65 countries all working to save and improve lives.
If you want to know more go to their website, I’m collecting donations for MSF_UK which you can find here. But MSF have sections in many countries suck as Australia, who I worked with three times, USA, South Africa and many more so look up the one nearest to you.
What did I do?
I worked with MSF 3 times:
In Swaziland combating the deadly HIV/TB epidemic faced by the tiny nation where life expectancy is only 49 and HIV effects 1 in 4 people. Swaziland has the world’s highest incidence of TB, and the number of people with drug-resistant forms of the disease (DR-TB) is increasing. Furthermore, around 80 per cent are co-infected with HIV. MSF runs clinics treating HIV/TB, MDR TB and XDR TB as well as providing general health services and care for those affected by sexual violence. http://www.msf.org.uk/country/swaziland
Wonderful Laboratory Ladies in the MSF lab in Matsapha clinic. Making diagnosis possible
In Lebanon where MSF were responding to the outbreak of war in Syria which lead to an increase in Syrian refugees living in Lebanon as well as continuing support to Palestine refugees confined to camps with limited medical care. The projects have since expanded to continue to support the vulnerable Lebanese and Syrian displaced people by providing basic reproductive healthcare, , mental health counselling and treatment for chronic diseases, vaccinations and treatment of acute disease. Vitally MSF hands out winter survival kits to displaced persons in need. http://www.msf.org.uk/country/lebanon
I’m right here, graffiti in Beirut
Lastly in Kyrgystan, I worked again in a TB project in Osh a rural city, Kyrgyzstan has high rates of MDR TB but patients struggle to access care. MSF provides comprehensive TB services in Kara-Suu district, including early detection, enrollment onto the treatment programme, monthly medical consultations for patients, and social and psychological support. Teams work in three TB clinics in Kara-Suu district, providing drugs and laboratory items and mentoring Ministry of Health staff as well as providing home visits for those unable to reach treatment centers http://www.msf.org.uk/country/kyrgyzstan
MSF TB doctor in-front of slide show from 2013 National TB day held in Osh
Do I still work for MSF
No not currently, but I have many friends who do and I certainly would work with them again.
Why Support MSF
I’m posting 10 reasons why I support MSF and why I think you should to, so look out for those, but in general MSF get over 90% of their funding from private donors, that means people like you and me which means they are free to respond to any and all emergencies without being restricted by donor government policies. MSF do not accept fund from governments whose policies cause suffering and put lives at risk. So it is vital that we the people continue to support them so they can continue to do great work around the world.
MSF are very open about their finances and you can check out exactly where your money goes on their website. Over 85% of all donated funds goes directly to field projects and only 5% on admin the rest is reinvested in fundraising.
Does MSF work in Jordan?
Yes MSF works in Jordan, Although Jordan is a very safe and secure country Civil war in neighbouring Syria has seen Jordan receive around 600,000 Syrian refugees who need access to medical care for noncommunicable diseases, maternal services as well as trauma and mental health services. MSF also provides free care to vulnerable Jordanians.