Providing care to individuals, responding to disasters
What are the challenges, limitations, constraints, paradoxes and potential breakthroughs of humanitarian medicine, which specialises in treating marginalised and deprived populations affected by crises? Deconstructing a number of “healthcare utopias,” the studies contained in this volume review the history of global health innovations to which MSF has contributed. They also explore the current state of knowledge, practices and concerns relating to certain focus areas, such as nutrition, AIDS, water supply, food aid, reconstructive surgery, epidemic response, surveillance and disaster epidemiology.
The study The Patient Perspective of Quality of Care: A Review of the Literature, which we present here was carried out by Hannah Barnett a public health student at George Washington University, intern with CRASH from June to August 2018. This work sums up seventy articles from a variety of disciplines including medicine and public health. It is part of a reflection initiated by MSF a few years ago on medical quality and the patient-centered approach.
Michaël Neuman's review of "Medical Humanitarianism: Ethnographies of practice" edited by Sharon Abramowitz and Catherine Panter-Brick (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2015)
The question of quality in the work of Médecins Sans Frontières has been asked from the very beginning of MSF's existence. On the one hand, the issue of improving the quality of practice is a part of ordinary professional activity; on the other hand, Médecins Sans Frontières' work involved working in distant lands and very specific environments, which demanded adjustments to medical practice as a result.
The Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and other researchers, including MSF-Crash Dr. Jean Hervé Bradol, report a persistent deficiency in truly new therapeutics for neglected diseases, despite nominal progress and an acceleration in research and development (R&D) efforts.
Our survey bears something of a resemblance to a study carried out by Vanja Kovacic in Homa Bay, Kenya, in which she investigated patients’ disease coping mechanisms and their “dependence on medical institutions”.
Epidemiological studies estimate that nearly nine million people were suffering from active tuberculosis (TB) in 2010, causing upwards of one and a half million deaths. More than 90% of these deaths took place in low- or middle-income countries, thus reinforcing an old idea that TB and poverty are strongly linked.
The Observer published in July 2012 an article on male rape in wartime. The study described cases of rape in Congo and the aid and medical care they received in Uganda. In reaction to this article, 209 comments were posted. The goal of Marc Le Pape's article is to show how these discussions and exchange of views address gender norms and rules.
It seemed appropriate to assemble these texts now, at a time when the history of our AIDS missions is compelling us to formulate new goals.