msf mission

Dr. Ilaria Moneta, Italian pediatrician currently on a MSF mission in the Central African Republic

“One of the patients who touched me the most is an 18 months old boy who was suffering from pneumonia and severe malnutrition.

He was very weak when he was admitted, but improved significantly during his 10 days stay with us. You know, it’s not good for small children to stay that long in a hospital. But this little boy recovered remarkably, and towards the end of his stay he was so much better, always giving me a big smile when I would come, grabbing my hand, wanting to engage.

But yesterday he came back for his follow up appointment, and he worried me. He lost a lot of weight in a week – that’s not good for a such a young child. I could see right away that he was not well: he didn’t recognize me anymore, he was sad, he was like another person. I wanted to hospitalize him again to keep an eye on him, but we couldn’t. They live in town, so at least they don’t have to travel far to come to us. They didn’t come back today, so he must be doing OK. I hope so.

The reality of pneumonia can be very scary and dangerous. Each year, it takes the lives of nearly one million kids. There’s a vaccine to prevent it, but it’s too expensive for many countries to afford. That’s why we need #Pfizer and #GSK to drop the price to $5/child for all developing countries and humanitarian organizations. #AskPharma

“A few days ago, I met a Sudanese man who had left his country with his pregnant wife. He was desperate as he had arrived in Italy alone. He was drying some photos he had brought with him on the journey. He called home and I heard him saying “alhamdulallah” (thanks be to Allah) while speaking with his wife’s sister. His wife had called her to say that she had arrived in Italy. She survived. He could hardly believe it: for several hours he had suffered the tragedy of her possible loss. At the end of the call, there was an explosion of tears and joy – by him, but also by us! The other survivors of the shipwreck told me that he had helped a lot of other people at sea. His help had been rewarded somehow. Stories like this give the survivors – and also give us – the energy to keep going. It’s the power of hope.” Aurelia Barbieri is an Italian Psychologist working with the MSF mission in the Mediterranean. She helps to care psychologically for primarily those who have been crossing from Libya into Europe. Though many have been rescued by MSF there are much more who are waiting to be found or may never be found due to the dangerous conditions encountered in this journey. Photo by: Sara Creta 

Photo by Gabrielle Klein/MSF

“I am living in this mosque which is under construction with 70 other people. It is freezing cold and extremely humid.” Suleiman and his family fled Sinjar, Iraq, about a year ago leaving behind the life they used to know. Read more about what MSF head of mission Fabio Forgione describes as “the worst humanitarian crisis of recent decades.”

Photo by Malak Shaher 

“These medical supplies are urgently needed and will allow us to better respond to the needs in different parts of Yemen,” said Marie-Elisabeth Ingres, MSF head of mission in Yemen. “But the supply routes must stay open to allow more aid into the country, and easy access has to be facilitated to bring in more medical supplies and personnel via air and sea.”