Doctors Without Borders

This Secret Trade Deal Contains Threats to Public Health

Stephen Cornish | Posted 03.21.2014 | Canada Business
Stephen Cornish

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement is being negotiated in secret, but leaked documents from the negotiations have revealed that the United States is pushing hard for strict intellectual property rules that would protect the profits of pharmaceutical companies at the expense of patients. These rules would extend patent monopolies and delay the introduction of cheaper generic drugs, allowing the big brand-name drug companies to maintain their high prices for longer periods of time. This would put lifesaving medicines out of reach for millions of poor people around the world. It could also lead to higher drug prices here at home.

We Are Failing the People of the Central African Republic

Stephen Cornish | Posted 04.23.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

With one-million people displaced -- a quarter of CAR's population -- the need for massive humanitarian assistance is obvious. Yet the response has been totally inadequate. While things appear bleak, there is still time. We can't lose hope and abandon the people of CAR, nor lose our empathy and desire to accompany both sides in their hour of need.

What I'll Always Remember From My Cycling Trip Through India

Helen Upperton | Posted 03.04.2014 | Canada Impact
Helen Upperton

Early last month I was on an airplane to Mumbai. As the plane descended, I tried to imagine 20-million people living in a single city. As an Olympian, I'd been to a lot of places in the world, but never anywhere like India. I'd also never travelled the way I was about to: over 230 km by bicycle from Bangalore to Vellore, in three Indian states over rough, dusty roads.

Central African Republic Is Suffering, and the World Looks the Other Way

Stephen Cornish | Posted 04.09.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

A squalid shanty town has sprung up in Central African Republic's capital, home to scared inhabitants seeking shelter and safety from the violence that has engulfed the city since December 2013. What is the cause of all this suffering? It's complicated. Much of the world has chosen to look the other way. There is little sign of other aid actors in CAR and the UN is perennially understaffed.

Doctors Without Borders Canada's Three Conflicts to Watch in 2014

Stephen Cornish | Posted 03.01.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

Our organization works mainly in conflict-affected and unstable settings. Of these, we have chosen three to watch in 2014. In each country, governments are unable or unwilling to care for their populations, the ability of aid actors to respond has been curtailed, and populations are left to fend for themselves.

Syrians Asked Me Why We've Abandoned Them, I Didn't Know What to Say

Stephen Cornish | Posted 02.19.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

Imagine four-million people uprooted by war and struggling to survive. I came away in awe of the perseverance, dignity and fortitude of the Syrian people. They were also wondering why the international community for the most part seems to have abandoned them in their hour of need. It was a fairly straightforward question, the answer to which I am still struggling to find.

I Visited a Syrian Refugee Camp, and This Is What I Saw

Stephen Cornish | Posted 02.12.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

Adel was in Homs during the heavy shelling which obliterated the Syrian city's Baba Amr district. He had been studying English at the university and had stayed on to do his military service. Running out of options and funds, he then made his way to the border and crossed into Iraq, becoming a refugee. For the past eight months, Adel has been working tirelessly as an interpreter.

Lebanon's Welcome Mat for Syrian Refugees Is Now Frayed at the Edges

Stephen Cornish | Posted 02.09.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

As Lebanon is drawn into its neighbour's conflict, sectarian tensions mount and the cost of hosting more than 700,000 refugees takes its toll. The welcome mat so graciously rolled out by the Lebanese for Syrian refugees is now becoming frayed at the edges.

Why Don't Wars Get the Same Empathy as Natural Disasters?

Stephen Cornish | Posted 02.04.2014 | Canada Impact
Stephen Cornish

No sooner had Typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful storm ever recorded, swept across the Philippines than everyday acts of courage and humanity surged forth in response to its aftermath. With Typhoon Haiyan we have together risen to the occasion. But in Syria, we as an international community are failing the civilian population.

The Next Nobel Peace Prize Should Go to a Dog

Robert Waite | Posted 01.23.2014 | Canada Living
Robert Waite

The next Nobel Peace Prize should not go to a human, or a human organization, but to man (and woman's) best friend -- the dog. Don't laugh -- I'm serious about this. Our canine companions have been protecting and befriending us for 10,000 years or more.

Awash In Refugees, Whose Needs Come First?

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 11.24.2013 | Canada
Diane Weber Bederman

We are awash in refugees, today, especially with the disaster taking place in Syria. We have limited resources -- human and financial. We must priorit...

The Hidden Genocide of Muslims

Diane Weber Bederman | Posted 10.28.2013 | Canada
Diane Weber Bederman

I've been reading about the war in Burma/Myanmar. It's a conflict between the Buddhist Burmese majority and approximately 800,000 Royhingya Muslims in the Arakan (Rakhine) State. They are among the world's least wanted and most persecuted people.

Doctors Without Borders Pulls Out

CP | Jason Straziuso, The Associated Press | Posted 10.14.2013 | Canada

NAIROBI, Kenya - The aid group Doctors Without Borders said Wednesday it is pulling out Somalia after 22 years of work there because of attacks on its...

Why Doctors Without Borders Is Upset With Canada

CP | Mike Blanchfield, The Canadian Press | Posted 09.15.2013 | Canada Business

OTTAWA - Canada is pushing back against a campaign by activists trying to block what they say are onerous intellectual property rules that would raise...

HIV Drug Patents Are Pricing Out The Poor

CP | The Associated Press | Posted 08.31.2013 | Canada Living

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - Doctors Without Borders warned Tuesday that rising intellectual property rights are blocking the generic production of newer ...

Marriage Proposal From Chad

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 08.14.2013 | Canada
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

I thought about the last few months. Fatigue, exhaustion, satisfaction, and relief. I felt happy just to have survived. It had been hard on my girlfriend Maeve and me -- but we grew stronger apart in some ways too. She was alone at home with her dog Daisy when I called from my tukul one night and asked her to marry me.

The Ins and Outs of a Doctor Without Borders in Chad

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 08.10.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

The dry hot season is going out and the cooler rainy season is coming in. Heavy showers have begun to fall and it is a relief for everyone. Starvation will hopefully ease. Yes, death is around us; but moreso, we are surrounded by life and survival. Day-in and day-out, this is the reality of our work here in eastern Chad.

A Day in the Life of a Doctor Without Borders

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 07.28.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

Wednesday May 15 started early. I got up at 6 a.m. and took a cold refreshing shower. My mind was spinning with day ahead so I had not slept well. Before leaving, I scanned my email inbox to try to deal with a few urgent administrative and medical matters. Even at 7 a.m., the office was hot enough to make you sweat.

Why We Need More Late-Night Doctors

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 07.02.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

It is possible to think of Médecins Sans Frontières' (MSF) medical work like a scalpel, which we use during surgery. The sharp end is at the bedside with patients and families. It's the crucial end -- and nothing can replace it. But behind the blade is its attachment and then the handle from which to hold the blade. These parts are crucial too.

Ali's Had a Cough Since 2006

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 06.24.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

Ali is 36 years old and has been coughing for a long time. He has been coughing since at least 2006. I was called because it was suspected that Ali had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis. Médecins Sans Frontières is working with the Chadian Ministry of Health to aid patients like Ali.

The Kindness of Strangers: Helping Women With VVF in Chad

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 06.19.2013 | Canada
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

Part of the experience of working with Doctors Without Borders is not just work but also taking a break. The work in the project site is seven days a week most of the time, but then after two months or so, we get a break in the capital city. I can't quite say my RnR was what I had intended.

"Doctor, What About My Brother?"

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 06.05.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

The desperate man asked me in French, "Doctor, what about my brother?" Somewhere, in one of the rooms full of bloodied bodies lying on the ground, was this man's brother. A mass casualty incident had hit Am Timan hospital in chad. This man was looking for his brother amongst the 50 or so victims.

We Need to Help More Children Live to Be Adults

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 05.27.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

The majority of our patients live. But sometimes they do not. Child survival in Chad is a day-to-day struggle. Many survive thanks to low-cost interventions like vaccination, proper nutrition, antibiotics, rehydration, blood transfusion and oxygen. Sadly, these interventions are available to too few.

Two Sisters and a Brother in Chad

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 05.14.2013 | Canada
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

Triplets (!) - two sisters and a brother were born a week ago. The sisters were born first and then came the brother. They do not yet have names, but ...

Outreach in Chad: "He Was on the Verge of Death"

Dr. Raghu Venugopal | Posted 04.28.2013 | Canada Impact
Dr. Raghu Venugopal

I'm settled into the project now in Amtiman in southeastern Chad. Our project here serves a population who have few choices regarding where and when they can seek medical care. Jonas was brought to my attention by the community outreach workers. He was 30 days old and his mother said he was not breastfeeding and was convulsing.