people are victims of natural disasters every year
Victims of crises and conflicts
Victims of crises and conflicts
People can lose everything in a natural disaster. Not only vulnerable and hungry, they also face the risk of devastating epidemics that overstretched health facilities are unable to contain. They may be direct victims or the collateral damage of armed conflict or in danger of being driven off their land because of cultural or religious differences.
Across the world, lives are put in danger and families torn apart. Humanitarian rights are violated more than ever before and the threshold of the intolerable has long been crossed.
Muhammad, aged 13. Aleppo, Syria
“I was in the neighbourhood playing marbles with my cousin and friends when a plane attacked us. I was tossed into the air and an electricity pole fell on top of me. I felt groggy, I wasn’t making any sense and I was hallucinating. What did I do? I’m a child, I didn’t have any explosives, just the marbles I was playing with.“
Korlia, aged 25. Monrovia, Liberia
“I’m a paramedic and I was caring for a sick nurse who hadn’t yet been diagnosed with Ebola. We didn’t have personal protective equipment then so I was exposed. Samples taken from the nurse tested positive and she died. Just over a week later, the symptoms set in. It started with a fever, and I felt weak and my joints ached. When I got the results from the hospital, I had to go to an Ebola treatment centre. I was there for three weeks. When my tests were negative two times running, I was able to leave.”
What we do
Doctors of the World responds to natural disasters and humanitarian and conflict-related emergencies.
When an emergency occurs, we are ready to deploy teams and equipment to address potential medical needs. If we already run programmes in the country concerned, we call on our teams in the field, which enable us to deliver a more effective response.
And even once media interest fades, if and when necessary, we remain in the country to assist with reconstruction efforts.
In countries at war, Doctors of the World’s humanitarian aid consists in delivering primary healthcare to affected populations and supporting local medical facilities. We also provide medical and psychosocial consultations in camps where people displaced by conflict have sought refuge and run mobile clinics in remote and difficult to reach regions.
We also advocate for the respect of international humanitarian law, particularly with regard to the protection of civilians.
Doctors of the World advocates for the respect of international humanitarian law and the protection of civilians.
Whenever a natural disaster occurs in the world, whether it be a flood, earthquake, tsunami or drought, Doctors of the World is ready to address the health needs of the affected populations.
We deliver drugs, medical supplies and equipment and deploy personnel. We also run mobile clinics and assist with the reconstruction of damaged or destroyed health facilities.
Due to a rapid deterioration in hygiene conditions, epidemics are a common occurrence after a natural disaster or during conflict situations. The challenge is twofold. The first is to prevent the spread of a potentially devastating epidemic and the second, to provide often already fragile national health systems with support in managing unusually high influxes of patients while continuing to deliver routine services. The demand for personnel and equipment can be substantial in such cases, and Doctors of the World is on stand-by to offer support.
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