Saturday, December 29, 2007

If Doctors Could Edit the Newspapers...

The crises in our world are great and the Doctors Without Frontiers/Borders work tirelessly to battle disease, famine and genocide against ever surmounting odds. This article focuses on some of those areas that they struggle to bring medical help - Columbia, Sri Lanka, Somalia, Burma, Chechnya, Zimbabwe, the Central African Republic, and the Democratic Republic of Congo - and the malnutrition and tuberculosis that they see every day.

From The Independent
10 humanitarian crises forgotten (but not gone)

If doctors edited newspapers... The frontline physicians at Médecins Sans Frontières have chosen the 10 humanitarian crises that should have been given more coverage in 2007.
By Claire Soares and Daniel Howden

Published: 20 December 2007


While the cocaine trade regularly features in the headlines, little attention is devoted to the scale of the internal refugee crisis. After four decades of civil conflict that has evolved from a war of political ideologies to a struggle for territory and control over the narcotics trade, large numbers of Colombians live in areas controlled by militia or guerrillas. With basic human rights under threat and unpredictable violence endemic in many rural areas, millions have fled to the shantytowns – or barrios – that ring every major town. Nearly four million people live in these insecure settlements cut off from basic state services such as mains electricity, water and health care. In the endless slums that now choke the capital, Bogota, areas are divided up and fought over by the same paramilitaries and left-wing rebels that blight and dominate the countryside.

Sri Lanka

After a quarter of a century of fighting, this year will be remembered among the bloodiest in Sri Lankan history. The civil war between the government forces and the separatist Tamil Tigers flared back into life last year and has kept worsening. International efforts to resolve the conflict have made no headway as key figures on both sides appear to have decided that a military solution is possible. Targeted bombings, mine attacks, suicide bombings, abductions, recruitment of child soldiers have all followed. The civilian toll in a country already flattened by the 2004 tsunami has been horrendous. Hundreds of thousands of people in need of humanitarian aid have been forced to flee to makeshift camps and the situation has been compounded by a climate of hostility and suspicion towards aid agencies. MSF is among the few agencies still operating in frontline areas, such as Point Pedro and Vavuniya, where doctors are desperately needed.

Read the rest of the story here.

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