Displaying items by tag: Health

Core to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)’s approach to assistance is sending international staff into foreign contexts to work with, and usually direct, locally recruited national staff. Outsiders bring experience, leadership and technical skills, and are in a better position to ‘witness’ intolerable situations and speak out about them. International staff are also better able to resist local pressures for resource diversion, giving MSF greater confidence that donor money is being spent appropriately. For many within and outside MSF, this model is the only responsible option because the compromises assumed to be inherent in a remotely managed programme are unacceptable. MSF-Operational…
A team from Valid International and Humanitarian Outcomes are conducting an evaluation for the European Commission of the extent to which DG ECHO's food assistance contributes to nutrition objectives. We would like to ask the wider humanitarian community: Do you have any good practical examples of food assistance that has effectively contributed to nutrition objectives (i.e. to reduce or avoid excess mortality and morbidity due to undernutrition) at all stages of the project cycle (situation/causal analysis, response design, implementation and monitoring)? What are some of the main challenges encountered in trying to do this? What needs to happen to address…
Koenraad Van Brabant in conversation with Hakim N. Feerasta, Resident Representative, the Aga Khan Development Network, Tajikistan Koenraad Van Brabant The Aga Khan is recognised as the spiritual head (imam) of the Ismaeli community, and the majority of Ismaelis in Tajikistan live in the eastern region of Gorno-Badakshan. Are you working specifically with the Ismaelis? Hakim N. Feerasta Well, there are an estimated 25m Ismaelis all over the world. Tajikistan is one of the countries where Ismaelis live. But the Aga Khan Development Network is a secular organisation; it does not work only for the Ismaeli community. We operate within…
Koenraad Van Brabant, outgoing HPN Coordinator, interviews Christina ter Braak, MSF-Holland, Uzbekistan Koenraad Van Brabant Christina, how does a young woman from Holland end up working in Uzbekistan? Christina ter Braak My first six-month stay in Uzbekistan was in 1996, teaching Dutch and English at Tashkent University. After my Bachelor’s degree, I did a Master’s in development studies. For my thesis – on unemployment in Uzbekistan – I spent another three months there doing research; every single person I spoke to had an opinion on the subject. Subsequently, I applied for a job in the Tashkent office of Human Rights Watch (HRW), and was invited for recruitment tests in New York. But the reply…
From Iran to western China, Central Asia is suffering its worst drought in decades. One of the states hardest-hit has been Afghanistan; poor and conflict-ridden, it is also the least able to cope Afghanistan is in its third year of severe drought, compounding the effects of conflict and international isolation. Precarious security conditions and problems of access make needs difficult to assess, but it is clear that the food crisis in much of the country has become acute. Millions of Afghans have little or no access to food, and require international humanitarian food aid. Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands more have been forced from their homes, congregating in camps in Afghanistan or across…
Reconstruction: Food Security, Nutrition and Home Gardens Online Learning Course Begins October 30, 2012 What is Food Security? What is good nutrition? What garden activities show evidence of supporting them? Learn: What works, how to introduce food gardens to communities, how to conduct a baseline survey, and how to implement a 12-month family garden project. For many people living in the cycle of poverty, the idea of starting a kitchen garden might seem overwhelming. It could be the time investment, it might be perceived costs. It might be a lack of know-how: what to plant, how to plant, and how…
Oxfam's Cholera Outbreak Guidelines were developed as an internal resource, but today Oxfam is sharing them externally in order to seek input from the international humanitarian community. Oxfam hope that this feedback will inform later editions in order to develop a powerful resource for anyone looking to prepare for, prevent and control a cholera outbreak. Here, one of the authors of the Guideline, Bibi Lamond, explains more. I have been responsible for implementing and coordinating cholera outbreak programmes since 2006. In my work I have found that, although there are numerous documents and books on medical intervention for cholera control,…
Health Care in Danger – a global challenge. Every day health workers face one of the most serious and yet unacknowledged humanitarian challenges of our times. Patients and medical workers are attacked, ambulances are obstructed, hospitals are shelled and violent intrusions disrupt the working of clinics, dispensaries and first aid stations. These are daily occurrences which endanger the delivery of effective and impartial health care. There are many challenges and the health care community has a central role in addressing them. A one-day symposium in London on Health Care in Danger, hosted by the International Committee of the Red Cross,…
The Middle East is an atypical context for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). The increasing complexity of humanitarian action, particularly the blurring of the lines between humanitarian and military actors and the increasing use of humanitarian language to justify wars, have made it even more difficult for MSF to negotiate independent operational space. This is especially so in some countries in the Middle East. Moreover, we are unaccustomed to working in middle-income countries where addressing non-communicable diseases is the priority. Although MSF is used to responding to acute crises, the Middle East suffers mostly from the chronic consequences of conflict. In…
An estimated 17% of Lebanon’s population suffers from mental health problems, yet almost 90% have no access to treatment. On the surface, Lebanon has made significant strides since the 2006 war, and is today a major financial and cultural centre in the Middle East. Economic growth for 2011 is forecast at 6%, a record 2 million tourists visited the country last year and Lebanon received $8.2 billion in remittances in 2010 from Lebanese nationals living abroad. At the same time, however, the country is gripped by political crises, threatening its financial and social fabric, and poverty levels in some parts…

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