There are many aid and humanitarian organizations around the world helping the ‘needy and vulnerable’. I have decided to take time to feature some of these organizations on my blog and talk about the work they do, where they work, how geniune they are and why we should support their work.
In this first post, I will discussing the medical aid organization, DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS.
Motto: Medical aid where it is needed most. Independent. Neutral. Impartial.
I’ve been following this wonderful aid organization and I’m totally impressed by the impartiality of the work they do in providing relief to victims of war and natural disasters especially in Africa and Asia. Their volunteers are very dedicated, taking the risk of working in places of extreme violence, diseases and disasters, where their own security and safety is not even guaranteed.
Below are their principles and objectives as stated on their Website, Doctors Without Borders :
Doctors Without Bordesr/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is a private, international association. The association is made up mainly of doctors and health sector workers and is also open to all other professions which might help in achieving its aims. All of its members agree to honor the following principles:
MSF provides assistance to
populations in distress, to victims
of natural or man-made disasters,
and to victims of armed conflict.
They do so irrespective of race,
religion, creed, or political convictions.
MSF observes neutrality and
impartiality in the name of
universal medical ethics and the
right to humanitarian assistance
and claims full and unhindered
freedom in the exercise of its functions.
Members undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and maintain complete independence from all political, economic, or religious powers.
As volunteers, members understand the risks and dangers
of the missions they carry out and
make no claim for themselves or
their assigns for any form of
compensation other than that
which the association might be able to afford them.
MSF’s actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of independence and impartiality.
MSF’s actions are first and foremost medical. We carry out our work with respect for the rules of medical ethics, in particular the duty to provide care without causing harm to individuals or groups.
Our decision to offer assistance in
any country or crisis is based on an independent assessment of
people’s needs. We strive to ensure that we have the power to freely evaluate medical needs and to access populations without restriction.
Impartiality and Neutrality
MSF offers assistance to people
based on need and irrespective of
race, religion, gender, or political
affiliation. We give priority to those in the most serious and immediate danger. Our decisions are not based on political, economic, or religious interests. MSF does not take sides or intervene according to the demands of governments or warring parties.
The principles of impartiality and neutrality are not synonymous with silence. When MSF witnesses extreme acts of violence against individuals or groups, the organization may speak out publicly. We may seek to bring attention to extreme need and unacceptable suffering when access to lifesaving medical care is hindered, when medical facilities come under threat, when crises are neglected, or when the provision of aid is inadequate or abused.
MSF is committed to regularly
evaluating the effects of its
activities. We assume the
responsibility of accounting for our actions to our patients and donors.
I’m highly impressed by the work of MSF. The world needs more independent aid agencies that will assist the needy according to need and because of the need and not because of political and economic reasons.
If you are also impressed and want to help too, consider being a part of MSF, visit Work with MSF.