When an emergency happens, our first concern is saving lives. Often that means performing emergency surgeries wherever there’s space to do so. When the earthquake devastated Haiti in 2010, we started treating our first patient within three minutes. And in the 20 days following the earthquake, MSF surgeons worked around the clock, carrying out over 1,300 surgical operations.
Surgeon's Tool Kit
In the days following our initial emergency response, the need moves from lifesaving surgery to helping the large number of people who are injured or sick. Broken bones, open wounds, burns, all are injuries common in the aftermath of an emergency. From suturing wounds and binding them to setting fractures, it’s a constant race against time for Doctors Without Borders staff to help ease suffering and prevent infection from setting in.
After fighting in South Sudan forced a Doctors Without Borders crew to suspend operations and flee with the local population, the team created these runaway bags so they could care for people while on the run. Full of vital medical tools and medicines, the staff used them to continue providing basic medical care to people who needed them, while they moved together to find safety.
Emergency Health Kit
From wound care and treatment of illnesses, the next phase of our emergency response moves to longer term concerns. MSF mental health specialists work to help families and children heal the invisible wounds of trauma. We also focus on providing shelter, clean water and preventing the spread of disease. Though Doctors Without Borders has worked in Bangladesh near the Myanmar border since 1985, the number of people we’re helping there has more than quadrupled since August. We’re treating over 2,000 patients a day, building new health clinics, fighting to curb the spread of disease and saving lives. We’re helping people like this 10-year-old girl, who fled Myanmar with her family, only to end up in a Doctors Without Borders hospital with tetanus. After three weeks of care, she was up and walking, holding her father’s hand and saying hello to everyone.
Mental Health Specialist