Sunday, September 23, 2007

Doctors without Borders in Chicago

Doctors without Borders 025
Originally uploaded by ricklibrarian.
Lisa, who served as a nurse on a six month mission for Medecins Sans Frontieres in the southern area of the Sudan, demonstrated how medicines were kept cold until time to use them in a refugee camp. MSF, known in the U.S. as Doctors Without Borders, buys drugs locally if possible, but often the organization has to ship the drugs in and deliver them packed to stay cold. Yellow fever, cholera, measles, and meningitis are among the inoculations MSF staff give regularly.

Bonnie and I took an informative 45-minute tour of the demonstration camp, which told what and why MSF works in refugee camps throughout the world. Of course, we could only imagine the true state of things, as it was a beautiful warm day in Chicago in Grant Park. We had no tropical rain, mud, blistering heat, horrible stench from latrines or dirty people, swarms of insects, or fear that we would be attacked in the night. Currently there are 33 million people in refugee camps around the world.

You can find more information on the MSF-USA website. Books about the organization include Hope in Hell by Dan Bortolotti and Forgotten War: Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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