On the front line:Médecins Sans Frontières
James M N Duffy profiles the leading organisation that puts doctors in places of acute humanitarian crises
- By: James M N Duffy
It was founded by a small group of French doctors after the Nigerian civil war in 1971. And its objective is to provide humanitarian emergency health care, irrespective of political, geographical, religious, and any other boundaries. Famed for its quick response in an emergency situation, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, Doctors Without Borders, in case you didn't know) operates in more than 70 countries today.
Its original objective has evolved into providing some long term interventions, notably the HIV/AIDS treatment projects and advocacy for suffering populations. MSF recruits more than 3000 doctors, nurses, midwives and logisticians to deliver its objectives. It receives 80% of its funds through private donations and the rest through institutional donations and government funding. This substantial level of private donation and the commitment of its volunteers allows MSF to observe its strict belief in operational independence.
And, yes, in case you're wondering, MSF was awarded the Nobel