doctors without borders

To the fighters, the protectors, the dreamers,

MOMS that undertake long journeys and brave horrifying conditions in the hopes of saving their babies. 

On board rescue ships, in bombed-out hospitals, in day long roadside labors, in sweltering heat and numbing cold,

we witness the depths of courage in the women we help.

We rejoice in the naming of a new little loved one.

Moms around the world, we salute you. Happy Mother’s Day

Space Australian Medicine

Despite the best efforts of everyone involved, something truly nasty escaped Earth. They call it giardia, a microscopic organism that their Planetary Protection Officer called “pretty dumb” and “not too bad, really, a week of digestive upset and then it’s over.”

Yes, Earth has a Planetary Protection Officer. They have a Planetary Protection Office, and have had one since they were sending probes around their own solar system. Doctor Ma-et had found it a bit silly, like a child concerned about the cleanliness of their toys, until she learned that the job of the Planetary Protection Office had always been protecting other worlds from Earth.

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Here’s what’s happening in Bangladesh:

More than 422,000 people have fled to Bangladesh from Rakhine state in Myanmar within the last three weeks- this is after a wave of targeted violence against members of the Rohingya ethnic minority. 

Medical facilities, including our own clinics, are completely overwhelmed. 

Massive humanitarian aid is needed in Bangladesh following the arrival of hundreds of thousands of refugees- most have moved into makeshift settlements without adequate access to shelter, food, clean water, or latrines.

When you walk through the settlement, you have to wade through streams of dirty water and human feces.

“The situation in the camps is so incredibly fragile, especially with regard to shelter, food, and water and sanitation. One small event could lead to an outbreak that may be the tipping point between a crisis and a catastrophe.”

Learn more

On Hot Pepper Gaming

Hot Pepper Gaming had its last episode today and I wanted to write something personal about it. I had this joke that I would always say when somebody talked to me about the channel - that it was sort of silly how the most successful thing I’ve ever done was the dumbest idea I’ve ever had. Classic self-deprecation, but the more I said it the more I realized just how important this dumb idea was to me.

Myself, Erin, and Jared started HPG half as a joke and half as a creative outlet to sort of prove that we knew what we were talking about. When we began, we were all lower-rung creatives working predominantly at Maker Studios - a YouTube multi-channel network. My only claim-to-fame at that point in my creative career was that I had something small to do with the Harlem Shake becoming a thing, and I really, REALLY didn’t want that to be the only accomplishment I had in my life.

I approached Erin about the idea, who called up Jared to join up with us. With a borrowed camera, $20 worth of craft supplies, and a weekend of work, we had shot the first three episodes of Hot Pepper Gaming. We planned to post weekly for a couple months regardless of if it gained traction or not, but on the first episode we were already growing faster than we could follow.

It’s sort of a funny thing how collaboration works. I remember being completely fine with filming Hot Pepper Gaming on a white background, but Erin’s simple suggestion that we use a yellow backdrop meant so much to the branding and style of the channel that I don’t think we would have succeeded without it. Erin, Jared and I all had something to contribute to the project, all of which combined together to create something much bigger than the sum of our parts. And because of this we were able to travel around the world, interact with fans, and sit in rooms with people we respected not only as their creative equals, but later on as their dear friends.

There’s so many great stories that I’ll post whenever I get nostalgic about Hot Pepper Gaming, but for now I just wanted to say something small that I think might describe my feelings better than me droning on about this will. We used to film Hot Pepper Gaming out of Erin’s old apartment, and after the first shoot we decided to grab dinner at a bar next door. I remember us all sitting at the bar, eating pub burgers and toasting to whatever the hell we just did, in our post-pepper andrenaline-rushed euphoria. I remember one of us asking hey, what if this actually does well, and then us all shrugging and laughing.

I’m currently on a flight back from Montreal, Canada, where Jared and I participated in Square Bowl, a yearly charity event that this year supported Doctors Without Borders. We were sitting on a balcony of an apartment in Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, watching the sun set over a park that was freshly-covered with snow. He and I talked for a while about how we were raising money for an important charity with a group of friends and creative collaborators we loved; and how so many of them we knew, specifically, because we had hurt them with hot peppers.

I don’t know what I would say to 24-year-old, fighting-tooth-and-nail-to-create-stuff-and-have-people-care-about-them Vernon if I had the chance, but to think about myself then and see myself now is surreal. I owe so much to this dumb little project, and I’ll never forget it.


Thank you Lily


The smile Dark had on his face was amused, cruel, but oh so delighted to see that they were just as eager as he was to begin exploring this new moment. The animalistic purr that growled in his chest grew the closer that he got to them, prowling towards them with purposeful strides. His smile turned into a demeaning sneer, and he bore his fangs as a hand moved out in order to latch against poor Lily’s throat. The grab was not hard, he did not squeeze, it wasn’t even entirely rude. No, it was more a statement, a statement of his rights.

“Mmm… so you wanted to have my attentions too, hmm? One of the coordinators for such an event, working so hard. Perhaps you didn’t expect to be praised for what you did. But what I didn’t expect, my little lovely, was for you to give such an… excellent donation yourself.”

He suddenly brought his hips forwards, bringing the heat and pressure of himself against her, grinding against their perfect body, his fingers around their neck, grasping their skin, eyes locked upon them as he didn’t give a damn what noises they made.

“Such a good fucking girl.”

He snapped, his voice almost aggressive with praise, wanting to make it clear that they deserved what they received.

“And you’re my good fucking girl.”

His hand moved away from their neck finally, only so that his lips could take over, bringing his canines down in order to deliver a carnal bite, nipping hard, letting it sting, before swiping his tongue along that poor, abused skin. And a kiss…and another… climbed up their jawline, peppering their face with his lips, before he finally met his lips with their own, giving a groan to the contact.

He took their bottom lip between his teeth, biting down gently, tugging for a moment, before kissing again, flicking his tongue against their own, erotically dancing upon them, before he finally separated his hips, hands, and mouth from their body.

“Thank you for your donation, lovely.”
ForcedFromHome on Twitter
“Nurses, dads, kids, patients - the beautiful faces of Mosul @Medium”

Rebuilding lives shattered by war: testimonies from our patients and staff

For those wounded by fierce fighting in Mosul, Iraq, emergency trauma surgery is the beginning, rather than the end, of a long journey to recovery. As such, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) runs a 40-bed hospital in Hamdaniya, a town south of Mosul, to specifically cater to the needs of those recovering from surgery and attempting to rebuild their lives.

Abdulrahman, 11-year-old patient from western Mosul

“I was going to a food distribution when something exploded in the street next to me. I was hit in the chest and arm by shrapnel.”

Faten, five-year-old patient from western Mosul

Told by her father:

“When our neighborhood in western Mosul was retaken by the Iraqi army, we went back to our house. Faten was playing in the garden when a mortar bomb fell in the garden and exploded.

Now she is here in the post-operative ward in Hamdaniya Hospital. Every day the staff here clean her wounds and put new bandages on. Faten is a brave girl; she likes to play and laugh, but she misses her brothers and sisters at home and at night she cries.”

I swear, one of the most entertaining things about the growth of the gamesdonequick speedrunning charity fundraisers is watching the organizations move from “not knowing this is happening” to “feeling obligated to send a representative out to the event” to “sending out representatives who have opinions about speedrunning because this event is apparently now the single largest fundraiser for Doctors without Borders.”
Why U.S.-Trained Surgeons Often Aren't Ready For Humanitarian Work Abroad
A study compares surgeries performed by Doctors Without Borders volunteers in the developing world with those taught to U.S. surgical residents — and finds "a dramatic mismatch."

“What poor countries need are surgeons who can do C-sections and hysterectomies, skills honed in the U.S. by OB-GYNs. But only 0.1 percent of general surgery residents in the study had been trained to do a C-section. Yet it’s the most commonly performed surgical procedure in MSF projects.

“The need for C-section is extraordinary,” says Kuwayama. That is because poor women are often malnourished. “Chronic malnutrition means women’s pelvises don’t develop fully, and the baby has trouble making it through the pelvic outlet to be delivered vaginally.

"The developing world also needs surgeons who can fix a broken thighbone or a shinbone, skills largely under the purview of orthopedic surgeons in the U.S. Fewer than 2 percent of all general surgical residents are trained in orthopedic procedures.”

Good intentions are not enough. Simple research is not enough. You have to research specifically what your intended patient population needs. This can be done through going to NGO recruitment events (in person or webinars), talking to those who have done overseas work and reading books in that field (in this case, case studies in the field, field hospitals, memoirs of field doctors/nurses etc.).

“Needless to say I have never seen it before, nor has my more experienced colleague.”

Dr. Shadi Abdelrahman is a young surgeon from Cairo. he just finished his first mission with MSF, in a hospital in Agok, Abyei, an area with special administrative status located between Sudan and South Sudan. Even though this was his first mission for MSF, it was not his first foray into field work. He talks about his experience of delivering a miraculous baby girl in his first-ever Caesarean section.

Read more here:

Tuberculosis (TB) is one of the developing world’s biggest killers, with 9.4 million new cases and 1.7 million deaths each year. Swaziland, also, has one of the highest rates of TB and multi-drug resistant TB worldwide. 80%% of people in Swaziland who contract TB are also HIV-positive.

Tholaleke, 39, has drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) and stated treatment in May 2016 at the Moneni National TB Hospital, supported by MSF in central Swaziland. It was while receiving injections that she suffered from severe leg pains, which affected her ability to walk, that made her thankful that she could receive at-home treatment. However, because she lived alone and did not have anyone to help look after her, she was admitted to Moneni Hospital in November for two months.

For many DR-TB patients like Tholaleke, treatment is a long and grueling 2-year journey, taking multiple tablets and injections in some cases, treatment can last longer if the patient doesn’t respond to treatment. Side-effects include deafness, liver or kidney toxicity, and even psychosis. These effects often force patients to give up their jobs while on treatment. In countries like Swaziland, TB patients are often more likely to succumb to poverty more than the disease itself. 

In hopes of helping patients who have gone deaf, 11 DR-TB patients and 30 MSF staff members recently completed sign language training.

Becoming deaf and not knowing sign language sometimes forces patients to isolate themselves from their families, due to inability to communicate. By empowering them with the skill of sign language, MSF staff in Swaziland hopes to reintegrate them into society.

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