Medecins Sans Frontieres/ Doctors Without Bordersdoctors-without-borders.jpg

1. History
2. Goals
3. Where in the World
4. What they Provide/Success Stories
5. Project of Focus
6. Project Product
7. Fun Facts
8. Sources


The full and original name of this organization is Médecins Sans Frontières, it’s French because of its French origin. The shortened version that most people call it by is MSF. The English translated name that Canadians and Americans use for this organization is Doctors Without Borders.

Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) was established in 1971 by a small group of French doctors. They have just returned from working in Biafra and were determined to find a way to respond rapidly and effectively to public health emergencies, without any political, economic and religious influences.

The Goals

Their main goals and the mission of this organization is to provide medical relief to populations, regardless of race, religion, creed and political affiliation, that have been through a crises (natural or man-made), when the population is in a fragile situations that cannot survive without the medical attention.
The actions that MSF takes to achieve their goals come in many forms. Some of those forms are:
Emergency public health care, including medicine and surgery
Mass vaccination campaigns
Water and sanitation systems
Therapeutic and supplementary nutrition
Distribution of drugs and supplies
Training and health education
Organization or rehabilitation of health structures
Medical assistance within existing health structures

When working at the Long-Term Assistance sights, their goals are to
is to help build a stable and self-sufficient local health care structure.

Where in the World

MSF has been involved in the following countries, and helped many people in each country by using different methods depending on the catastrophe that they were in.

Countries that MSF were involved in:map.jpg

Today, MSF is the world's leading independent international medical relief organization, with 5 operational centers in Europe and 14 national sections worldwide. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) / Doctors Without Borders works in areas of Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe where it has found services in order to meet a population's medical needs. Frequently, one of the following four situations has led to MSF's involvement in those areas are:

•Wars and Conflicts
(MSF immediately sends teams of surgeons, anesthetists, operating room nurses and logisticians into the field with the necessary equipment to establish operating rooms and clinics, provide basic public hygiene assistance and begin training local medical and support staff.)

• Refugees and Displaced People
(MSF works with other non-governmental organizations, local health authorities, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in refugee camps to provide primary health care, epidemic control, immunizations, nutrition, clean water, and effective sanitation systems.)

• Natural or Man-Made Disasters
(At the disaster site, MSF treats and distributes clean drinking water and provides medicine and medical supplies.)

• Long-Term Assistance
(MSF works with the local authorities, generally through the Ministry of Health, to rehabilitate hospitals and dispensaries, establish rural clinics, vaccination and drug management programs, and train local staff.)

What they Provide/Success Stories

When starting a new project, MSF has to identifies the existence of a humanitarian crisis, or be invited by the national government or a UN agency to establish a project. In either case, an exploratory team of experienced MSF personnel visits the site and evaluates the medical, nutritional, and sanitary needs, the political environment, the security situation, transportation facilities, and local capabilities. Currently, MSF runs a lot of different projects, and some of them are:

Massive vaccination campaigns – Because Epidemics often develop in acute emergency situations, where a large number of weakened people live in close proximity to each other and in poor sanitary conditions, massive vaccination campaigns are launched to help prevent the spread of diseases like Yellow fever, cholera, measles, and meningitis.

Training and supervision of medical personnel - Sometimes, well-trained doctors and nurses flee the crisis area and those left behind lack adequate training or experience. In these cases, MSF provides additional training and supervision on subjects ranging from primary health care to drug prescription, diagnosis, and psycho-social care.

Water and sanitation improvement - Clean drinking water and sanitary facilities are essential to preventing the outbreak of epidemics in any situation. MSF employs specialists construct sanitary facilities using existing water sources, newly dug wells, piping, plastic water tanks, tank trucks, and supplies for the construction of toilets.

Data collection - To keep track of the health of people living in a crisis area, it is important to register medical data, such as mortality figures, the number of patients suffering from certain diseases, degree of malnutrition, and so on. These data are generally registered, in order to help determine certain medical facts.

Feeding - MSF regularly monitors the food situation in the areas where it works. Seriously malnourished children must be administered food under medical supervision. For this purpose, MSF sets up therapeutic feeding centers (TFCs), where children can stay with their mothers and still get the nutrients that they need.

Patient care - Experienced staff coordinate the work, provide support and training where necessary, and ensure that there is a sufficient supply of drugs and medical materials. When necessary, MSF has set up special programs to address particular diseases, such as kala azar, tuberculosis, sleeping sickness, and malaria. If fighting produces casualties that exceed the capacity of local hospitals, MSF will offer surgical assistance.

Maternal and pediatric care - Pregnancy check-ups, neonatal care, special feeding programs, vaccination campaigns, birth control, treatment of venereal diseases, and health education are therefore important parts of the organization's work because women and children are often the most vulnerable groups in the emergency situations in which MSF is involved.

Distribution of drugs and medical supplies - The supply of drugs and medical materials can be cut off by fighting, dangerous conditions, road destruction, lack of transport vehicles or lack of funds. If that happens, MSF assists in re-establishing the supply chain.

Mental health care - The death of loved ones, terror, witnessing massacres, and suffering from hunger, thirst, and cold are but a few of the traumatic events that give rise to serious mental and physical difficulties. If help is not forthcoming, trauma victims can suffer protracted insomnia, aggression, headaches, listlessness, and other physiological and psychosocial symptoms. As a result, they neglect themselves and their families and have a great deal of trouble starting their lives over. MSF started its first mental health program in 1991 and psychosocial care has become a component of many MSF emergency and long-term projects.

Rehabilitation of hospitals and clinics - Hospitals and clinics are often devastated through destruction, wear and tear, or looting. Where necessary, MSF assumes the task of rehabilitating and re-equipping these buildings.

HIV / AIDS care and prevention - Providing adequate information to dispel local prejudices, pride, and fears, and explaining the use of condoms are challenges that MSF is facing in many of its projects. In addition, MSF has launched pilot HIV / AIDS treatment programs in several countries to care for HIV positive patients with anti-retrovirals and to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV.

Project of Focus

I believe that the most important project that Doctors Without Borders provide is the water and sanitation improvements because clean water is a basic need for human survival. Knowing that there are so many diseases that are water related, if the developing countries had a clean water system, than the amount of diseases and sicknesses would dramatically decrease.

The latest country that MSF has helped with regarding the water sanitation project is Haiti. When the earthquake hit many people lost their homes, being left in the streets without food and water.
- Majority of all fresh water sources have been polluted due to the poor sanitation systems
- More than half the deaths in Haiti are due to water-borne diseases
- For 73% of the Haitian population, the daily search for water is a nightmare. Carrying their buckets, women and girls walk for miles in search for water and when they reach the water source they often cannot afford the high cost.

This is how MSF has helped the Haitian people by improving the water systems in some cities in Haiti:

family cleaning in Haiti
family cleaning in Haiti
Marrtissant, Cite Soleil, Chancerelle:
Water distribution is continuing via 15 bladders, including one in Martissant, 11 around Cité Soleil, one in Chancerelles, and three in Sarthe, focusing on IDPS close to the medical facilities. MSF has also undertaken the cleaning and emptying of community latrines inside the slum of Cité Soleil, which had been backed up for a prolonged period.

Carrefour, Grace Village Camp: MSF is providing 76m3/day water for 15,000 IDPs and constructing 45 latrines. Additionally, 45 showers will be constructed and 15 Portocabs have been installed..

Chancerelle, Aviation camp: 50 latrines, 50 showers and 20 washing places under construction. Water provided by MSF to part of camp. Installing 30,000 liter tank.

Carrefour, Child detention center: Ten latrines and showers under construction; eight portocabs installed in the meantime.

Carrefour, Joseph Janvier camp: maintenance of 20 existing latrines for 1,500 IDPs.

Carrefour, various sites: chlorination treatment of tanks/wells and small interventions in other areas. Chancerelle, Aviation camp: 50 latrines, 50 showers and 20 washing places under construction. Water provided by MSF to part of camp. Installing 30,000 liter tank.

Leogane (periphery): Water distribution: target of 200,000 litres per day. Will install two latrine blocks in gathering spots, and, if used, will increase numbers. Again, water and sanitation activities will be in support of mobile clinics and around MSF hospital structures.

Port au Prince - Mickey: Water distribution of 80,000L/day

Port au Prince – Ecole Saint Louis: Water and sanitation work (latrines) for estimated 7,000 IDPs.

Jacmel: MSF installed a water bladder, drinking points, and ten latrines in St. Michel Hospital.

Grand Goave: Sanitation facilities established in four camps: Lifeline, Park Ferrus, Servants et Tit Paradise: 4-6 latrines per block, showers, bladders, and seven water distribution sites for a total of 7,000 beneficiaries.

Port au Prince – In Petionville and Carrefour Feuille: portable or fixed latrines, portable showers, waste areas and water bladders were installed for a total population of 31,800 people. MSF has carried out out water storage and distribution, constructed washing areas, showers, latrines, waste areas and hygiene promotion in the following camps :

Create a campaign to defend what you feel is the most important project or service that this organization runs. Explain the project in detail. What makes this project worthy of funding from the public? Defend why this is important. Research the issue that this project is helping. For instance, if the project is education based, what are the literacy rates in the country/countries of focus? If the project is health focused, what is the pressing health concerns and rates in the country of focus?

Project Product

Make custom t-shirts at

Fun Facts

Did you know that when you donate ...

Financial Info
Financial Info

Your Donation
What It Can Provide
Two high-energy meals a day to 200 children
Vaccinations for 50 people against meningitis, measles, polio or other deadly epidemics
Two basic suture kits to repair minor shrapnel wounds
Infection-fighting antibiotics to treat nearly 40 wounded children
A sterilization kit for syringes and needles used in mobile vaccination campaigns
A medical kit containing basic drugs, supplies, equipment, and dressings to treat 1,500 patients for three months
Emergency medical supplies to aid 5,000 disaster victims for an entire month
An emergency health kit to care for 10,000 displaced people for three months

Interesting Fact: In 1999, MSF was awarded the international Nobel Peace Prize, "in recognition of the organization's pioneering humanitarian work on several continents."

Why i chose Doctors Without Borders:
-Well known organization
-Helped many countries around the world
-has a lot of different projects/offers a lot of different solutions to match any health problem
-rushes into action as soon as their help is needed
-they help EVERYONE, regardless race, religion and political view