Doctors without Borders
I gave details of what actually occurred in my last post. It is a pity that MSF has decided to leave Kunduz after the tragic event. Now residents of the Afghan city will have to cope with life threatening injuries and illnesses. Certainly, so many will die due to lack of access to medical care. The MSF hospital was the only medical facility in the city equipped to deal with certain emergencies.
MSF has however provided more information as to what actually happened.
The charity said that despite frantic calls to US and Afghan military officials in Kabul and Washington, the attack continued for another 30 minutes, with the main hospital building housing the intensive care unit and emergency rooms being targeted.
“The bombs hit and then we heard the plane circle around,” said Heman Nagarathnam, MSF’s head of programmes in northern Afghanistan.
“There was a pause, and then more bombs hit. This happened again and again. When I made it out from the office, the main hospital building was engulfed in flames.
“Those people that could had moved quickly to the building’s two bunkers to seek safety. But patients who were unable to escape burned to death as they lay in their beds.”
As I have said before and even the United Nations agrees, the United States have no sensible tenable explanation to give for this utter disaster that killed 19 people, including 12 staff members of the Medical Charity and at least seven patients, and wounded dozens more.
I’m so short of words to express my anger and disappointment. My heart and prayers are with MSF (Medicens Sans Frontiers — Doctors Without Borders) and the families of their deceased medical staff in this very painful time.
I don’t think the United States will have any sensible explanation to give for their airstrikes raining down heavily on a charity hospital even if it is clearly a mistake. This is just so painful.
Doctors Without Borders (MSF) has said at least nine of its staff have been killed in an overnight bombing of their hospital in the embattled Afghan city of Kunduz.
The attack early on Saturday also wounded 37 people, including 19 MSF staff, the medical charity told AlJazeera.
Officials of MSF later told Reuters that they “frantically phoned” NATO and Washington DC, as bombs rained on the hospital for “nearly an hour”.
NATO said that a US air strike “may have” hit the hospital, which is run by the medical charity, adding that the attack may have resulted in collateral damage.
The MSF hospital is seen as a key medical lifeline in Kunduz, which has been running “beyond capacity” in recent days of fighting which saw the Taliban seize control of the provincial capital for several days.
The trauma centre is the only medical facility in the region that can deal with major injuries.
At the time of the bombing, 105 patients and their caretakers and more than 80 MSF international and national staff were present in the hospital, the charity said.
MSF is of course deeply shocked at bombing of their charity hospital in Kunduz which killed Staff and patients killed. I’m equally shocked! How could the United States go on with an attach they knew could cause serious destruction to a hospital or didn’t they conduct detailed surveys before the attack. I’m more than disappointed! And this is the United States that wants to serve as a moral watchdog to Russia’s military operations in Syria. Shame!
My first reaction when i saw this photo was ‘Thank God’. Imagine anything had happened to this precious child.
The child’s name is Miracle and she was among the 112 Nigerian and Sudanese migrants were rescued by MSF (Medicens Sans Frontiers) which is a French humanitarian organization. MSF in English means DOCTORS WITHOUT BORDERS. MSF Sea ships, Argos and Dignity rescued the immigrants from the Mediterranean sea on Sunday, September 27.
I have been talking about and expressing my concerns about the plight of the Rohingya ethnic minority of Myanmar (Burma). See Rohingya: The world’s most persecuted minority . This people face a lot of difficulty which amount to a ‘humanitarian crises’.
Ruk and Kun Suma were born five minutes apart on March 27 in a camp for displaced Rohingya in Rakhine State, a northwestern province of Myanmar. Their mother, an emaciated 40 year old woman named Noor Begun, suffers from tuberculosis and is unable to breastfeed them. The family cannot afford milk either. For the first two weeks of their lives, Ruk and Kuma received only cheap coffee creamer from the tip of Noor’s fingers. The twins need urgent medical care to survive, but there are no medical doctors stationed in the nine overcrowded camps near Sittwe, the capital of Rakhine State, where more than 75,000 internally displaced persons live.
Noor Alam was a one year old boy who died on April 6 in the
Ohn Taw Gyi camp near Sittwe .
“He woke up with diarrhoea one day, and was dead the next night,” his mother said. There was
nothing we could do, as we haven’t seen a doctor here for many days.” Now she worries that the same fate could await her three year old son, Sayed Noor, who, like many others in the camp, suffers the same condition as Noor Alam . Hadija
said the cause of her children’s illness is the shortage of drinkable water.
Since the explosion of violence in June 2012 between the Rohingya Muslim minority and the Rakhine Buddhist majority that left 140 dead, entire villages razed to the ground and at least 140,000 IDPs, most of them Muslims, the Rohingya living in the camps have relied on aid provided by international agencies. In early March, Myanmar’s government decided to expel Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from Rakhine State after the NGO declared it had treated 22 people in the remote Maungdaw region who were injured in beatings and knife attacks. At least 40 Rohingya had been killed there by Rakhine mobs and Burmese security forces in January, according to the UN and human rights groups . The Myanmar government, which has not allowed independent observers to access the area, forcefully denies the attacks took place.
The Rohingya were rendered stateless by a citizenship law passed in 1982 and have since been the victims of crimes against humanity at the hand of
Myanmar’s government and local
authorities. The expulsion of MSF deprived 750,000 people, including Buddhist Rakhines but
mostly Rohingyas, of virtually any
healthcare and has led to dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths. The situation got worse a month later when mobs of infuriated Rakhines attacked the offices of several aid agencies in Sittwe, after a worker from Malteser International took down a Buddhist flag from the organisation’s office. About 150
international workers from Malteser and other organisations were evacuated from Rakhine, and have not yet returned.
I really do not understand why the Government of Myanmar will ask independent international aid organizations that are genuinely assisting victims of violence and displacement, to leave. The Government has so far being unable to provide security, aid or assistance to the minority Muslim Rohingya; they know about all the atrocities and human rights violation that are committed against these people, yet do or say nothing about it. The aid organizations that now talk about these or take action are being expelled from the country because the Government doesn’t want these issues to receive publicity. This is so dismal and sad.
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.