There are no sirens. Nor is the silence disrupted by the rush of feet or frantic blue lights. Instead, our enduring patients arrive at the hospital gates on foot, most having travelled for many hours, if not days, through the unrelenting 40° C heat; the privileged cling to motorcycles already laden with firewood and kitchen utensils in anticipation of a prolonged admission...
This article analyzes Doctors Without Borders’ (MSF) organizational transformation serving victims of sexual violence. It examines how conflicts, AIDS, and media coverage shaped the institutional environment’s resistance and motivation to change. Using social representations of victims and ethical and technical issues MSF reconsidered its field interventions and institutional learning dynamic.
For medical humanitarian organizations, making their sources of legitimacy explicit is a useful exercise, in response to: misperceptions, concerns over the ‘humanitarian space’, controversies about specific humanitarian actions, challenges about resources allocation and moral suffering among humanitarian workers. This is also a difficult exercise, where normative criteria such as international law or humanitarian principles are often misrepresented as primary sources of legitimacy.
In Africa, although emergence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) tuberculosis (TB) represents a serious threat in countries severely affected by the HIV epidemic, most countries lack drug-resistant TB data. This finding was particularly true in the Kingdom of Swaziland, which has the world’s highest HIV and TB prevalences. Therefore, a national survey was conducted in 2009–2010 to measure the prevalence of drug-resistant TB.
In this special feature of this issue of Humanitarian Exchange, which focuses on humanitarian action in the Middle East, Caroline Abu-Sada describes how Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has adapted its approach to providing emergency medical care to different country contexts in the Middle East.
The new situation created by the 2011 "Arab Spring" goes to the heart of relations between associations, NGOs and governments. Indeed, populations have been placing increased pressure on the majority of Arab countries, partly due to the profound transformation of the voluntary sector. A book edited by Caroline Abu-Sada and Benedict Challand, which was written for the most part before the beginning of the acceleration of the mobilizations against the regimes, includes six studies that can help better understand these recent events.
The war in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo has been the subject of numerous studies related to the problem of sexual violence. Such violence is known to be part of strategic war plans to conquer and destroy communities, but it is now unfortunately prevalent in times of relative calm.
In this article, Françoise Duroch looks at feminine representations – women often viewed through the lens of motherhood – in humanitarian communication. She also analyzes MSF’s appropriation of the concept of "violence against women".
This work offers to analyse the learning process of the humanitarian organization Médecins Sans Frontière (Doctors Without Borders / MSF) around the notions of victims of sexual violence. The first part is dedicated to a conceptual and critical essay on the concepts of rape victims, in particular in the field of social sciences, as well as to an introduction to the history of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The second part of the study presents a qualitative study of one MSF’s most important intervention in Eastern DRC in favour of victims of sexual violence.
In June 2007, MSF Switzerland launched a research project on the perception of humanitarian action in general and of MSF Switzerland in particular, in a set of contexts in which the organization operates. Ten countries were studied: Niger, Cameroon, Liberia, Kenya, Uganda, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Guatemala and Kyrgyzstan.