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Analysis Of An Ngo: Doctors Without Borders

1096 words - 4 pages

Imagine an entire community of individuals, from doctors to massage therapists, that does not answer to any political entity or religion, yet still manages to collectively provide free healthcare services to millions of individuals in need every year. Medecins Sans Frontiers, or popularly known in the US as Doctors Without Borders, is an international NGO that does just that. The organization began in 1971 when a group of French doctors and journalists recognized the dire need for assistance in healthcare during times of war, famine, and flood in Nigeria and Pakistan. Since then, it has expanded and provides aid to over 60 countries in underserved regions across Central America, South America, Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia as well and developed a mission “to deliver emergency [medical] aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care.”(www.msf.org)

Because Medecins Sans Frontiers recruits such a diverse group of volunteers, they are able to address a broad spectrum of health issues. Not only do doctors of all specialties volunteer with the group, but nurses, paramedics, EMTs, dentists, dental technicians, dental hygienists, optometrists, opticians, audiologists, podiatrists, massage therapists, mental health professionals, epidemiologists, and logistics experts all join Medecins Sans Frontiers in their mission as well. In total, there are over 27,000 individuals around the world assisting those in need through Medecins Sans Frontiers any given day of the year. Physicians and other health professionals often offer treatment for diseases that are prevalent in tropical areas like chagas and malaria. Treatment for illnesses that are widespread in developing countries like cholera, cytomegalovirus, tuberculosis, and malnutrition are also given to many individuals annually. Because in many developing countries, there are all too often issues with women’s rights and negligence in women’s health, they are also striving to specifically provide women’s health care to those who are pregnant or who have been sexually abused. Just this year, Medecins Sans Frontiers notes one of their major accomplishments to be treating over 100 individuals for sexual assault after two instances of mass rape in the Democratic Republic of Congo by militias.

Although volunteers for Medecins Sans Frontiers are commonly stationed in various countries with a dire healthcare worker shortage, regions with refugee camps and internally displaced persons are also a focus for this organization. Refugees and internally displaced persons often come from war torn regions and live in close confines with poor sanitation and limited resources. These living situations become a breeding ground for diseases and other health issues like malnutrition, yet the individuals lack access to any sort of healthcare. The organization also responds quickly when regions suddenly experience an increased need for healthcare,...

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