We focus on people

We focus on people

Background

Access to healthcare is at the core of our values and work, and it challenges our personal and our professional ability to respect and listen to others. Far from being universal, access to care strongly depends on the standards, values, knowledge, and cultural representations specific to each community; and the way illness is considered may differ from one society or culture to another: this cannot be ignored.

The way illness is considered may differ from one society or culture to another.

In the field of public health, scientific knowledge and traditional wisdom and practices are sometimes conflictual, which can in turn run counter to humanitarian relief efforts. Attitudes of patients and families regarding health vary from one country to another depending on their culture and their social background. Prevailing norms, values, conceptions and practices determine how people view and provide care.

Such considerations need to be taken into account in order to provide proper humanitarian aid. Understanding cultural differences, taking critical distance from one’s own professional stance, being mindful of the social and cultural diversity of patients, are as many keys to improving access to quality and effective care.

Medical consultation in Nepal ©Olivier Papegnies
Medical consultation in Nepal ©Olivier Papegnies

What we do

We encourage our teams to take full account of all these aspects in their work and to be constantly aware of what is happening around them. Participative observation contributes to a better understanding of the reality on the ground, without mediation. We must also strive to know and understand the key actors we work with, as they play such an important role in bridging the gap between us and our patients. Individual interviews with patients help us create a relationship of trust, collect accurate information and address sensitive issues, thereby fostering a common language and real cooperation. 

In order to raise awareness among health professionals about these issues and their impact on the health pathways of different groups of people, MdM holds workshops, forums and debates. We also have set up an online knowledge-sharing platform. We support and guide our teams working on the field with training tools and operational guidelines, such as grids templates for observation, interviews and assessments.

Your support

Donate

I make a donation.

Join us

I apply online.

Newsletter

I subscribe to the newsletter.