Along with other non-communicable diseases, cancer is now recognised as a major challenge for humanitarian health providers and for those who finance their programmes. The recent Policy Review of cancer treatment requests submitted to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Exceptional Care Committees (ECC), by Paul Spiegel and colleagues, makes a valuable contribution to a sparse evidence base.
Tara Mangal and colleagues present compelling evidence that lends support to the suggestion that the efficacy of the oral poliovirus vaccine varies depending on its composition, thus reinforcing similar findings reported by Jenkins and colleagues in 2008. However, the persistence of polio in the northern states of Nigeria cannot be adequately explained by the chemical properties of the vaccine and therefore warrants further exploration.
On Nov 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines. Winds of up to 235 km/h cut through the province of Eastern Samar as the storm progressed westwards and further towards the centre of the island archipelago. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, a myriad of humanitarian stakeholders scrambled to provide basic services including health care, shelter, and food to the affected population.
Humanitarian action by NGOs in detention centres is quite rare and poorly documented. Despite the fact that prisoners are among those who have the least access to quality health care services, MSF has never chosen to make detention centres one of its strategic priorities. The inherent difficulties linked to this operational context explain the limited number of projects the organisation has developed and managed in prisons.
MSF recently asked Somali refugees in Dadaab’s Dagahaley camp about their living conditions and their thoughts about returning to Somalia in the near future. The responses suggest that bad living conditions in the camp are not conducive to wanting to return, despite a widespread belief to the contrary.
This opinion note explores some aspects of the relationship between humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and extractive industries. Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, MSF) has endorsed a policy of non-engagement with the corporate sector of the extractive industries, particularly when it comes to financial donations.
As physicians and hospitals providing medical service in war zones multiply, their facilities have increasingly become military targets – placing their medical staff in danger and preventing locals from seeking care...
The massive and continuing flows of Syrian and Palestinian refugees to Syria’s neighbours have shown the limitations of humanitarian practice and present new challenges for medical and humanitarian interventions.
Authored by Jean-Marc Biquet, this paper focuses on the failure of the aid system in Haiti. The country has been struck by two disasters in a row: the January 2010 earthquake and a cholera epidemic starting in October the same year.