December means that we are coming to the end of our year raising money for MSF. The current total raised stands at £3585. A truly great effort. Of course there is still time to raise money and just another £415 pounds would bring it up to a round total of £4000!

For this final article it seemed a good time to remind ourselves of the ethos of MSF, and the vast variety of work that our donations have helped to support Firstly, it is funded almost entirely by private donations. It does not take any money from governments because it would compromise its neutrality. It also does not take donations from industry. 85% of the donations goes straight to its work, 13 % is for investment in fundraising and a small amount is taken to run the office. MSF has around 67,000 local and international staff working in over 70 countries in some of the most challenging countries in the world.

MSF provides emergency medical aid to people affected by war, natural disasters, man-made disasters, epidemics and pandemics. It provides free medical care where there is none or when there is some, but only at a cost. It is impartial, neutral, independent, and the patient always comes first. Its values mean that it does not take sides. People are treated on the basis of medical needs alone. The MSF logo on a shirt often offers more protection than a bulletproof vest. Neither do they use armed guards. MSF believes in speaking out publicly where its staff witness acts of violence against individuals and groups. They demand access to people trapped in conflict zones, draw attention to the weaknesses in the aid system and campaign about fair access to essential medicines for all.

MSF is involved in numerous types of work:

  • They work in war and conflict zones, and sometimes go where other agencies may not.
  • They respond to natural disasters, such as earthquakes and epidemics.
  • Support refugees and international internally displaced people.
  • Provide emergency service surgery, and vaccination campaigns, primary healthcare ,maternal healthcare, and mental health care.
  • Develop life saving medicines for people with neglected diseases.
  • Treat malnutrition and provide therapeutic feeding.
  • They have 4 enormous logistics centres with everything to respond to emergencies as quickly as possible so that planes can be loaded and flown into crisis areas within 24 hours.
  • They work to bring down barriers that keep people from getting the treatment they need to stay alive and healthy.
  • They advocate for effective drugs, tests and vaccines that are available, affordable, and suited to the people for whom they care.
  • They are the world’s largest non governmental provider of TB care.

Further information, and particularly the latest news from Gaza is available on the MSF’s E newsletter, or their website.

MSF medical staff treat wounded patients at Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza
24 October © MSF