The stories behind the images

The stories that deserve to be told from the world's most underreported crises

23 Aug 18

You've seen the news, but do you know the story? In this new series, we delve deeper into the real-life human stories behind the images of conflicts, natural disasters and deadly epidemics that continue to impact lives the world over.

The stories are unique and often tragic, but with the support of people like you, our expert medical teams can be there helping to save lives in more than 65 countries. Thank you.

Rohingya refugee crisis

A scene from inside our Kutupalong Clinic in Balukhali refugee camp, Bangladesh.

The Rohingya people are one of the most persecuted minority groups in the world. Since 25 August 2017, a massive exodus of more than 706,000 have fled Myanmar into Bangladesh, following a violent campaign by the Myanmar military.

Pictured here is Amir, a Rohingya refugee, who is relieved after his daughter Kismatara – just two years old – was treated by MSF staff in the emergency room of our Kutupalong Clinic, Bangladesh. Kismatara had severely burned herself with hot water.

The people arriving in Bangladesh have shared stories of villages being burned by the Myanmar military, while mob groups targeted the Rohingya women, raping and killing them. It is one of the largest and most shocking displacements of people in recent memory.

MSF currently has 2,000 staff working across 19 health posts in the Cox's Bazar region of Bangladesh. Together, they have so far treated more than 650,000 patients. Yet as there seems to be no let up in the crisis, these figures are sadly bound to rise.

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Gaza: Violence at the border

A scene during the Great March of Return, 11 May 2018. Malaka, Gaza, Palestine.

On 11 May 2018, tens of thousands of protesters gathered along the border between Gaza and Israel in the latest stage of the "Great March of Return".

Tensions were high following more than a month of mass protests that had left 50 Palestinian protesters killed and more than 1,700 wounded. In this picture, a Palestinian protester is carried away for medical help after being shot by an Israeli sniper. The bullet had passed through both of his legs.

Protests increased towards 15 May 2018, the day Palestinians mark the Yawm an-Nakba or "Day of Catastrophe", to commemorate the anniversary of their mass displacement during the 1948 war over Israel's creation.

In response to the recent violence, we deployed four emergency surgical teams across three hospitals, as well as established four post-operative care clinics to treat patients who had been wounded during previous demonstrations. Our teams also donated medical supplies to two local hospitals.

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The return of Ebola

Staff getting dressed in full protective equipment in our Ebola treatment centre in Bikoro, Democratic Republic of Congo.

Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has been struck by two outbreaks of Ebola this year on opposite sides of the country.

In this picture, an MSF health worker gets dressed into full personal protective equipment (PPE) in Bikoro, northwest DRC, during the first outbreak in May. The outbreak was declared over in July, claiming 14 lives. 

The current outbreak was declared on 1 August 2018 in North Kivu province, in the east of DRC. So far, 64 cases of the virus have been confirmed, sadly resulting in 50 deaths. It is the first outbreak of Ebola in an active conflict zone.  

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Ebola is one of the world's most deadly diseases, killing up to 90 percent of people who catch it – so, all staff working in our centres must wear PPE while treating patients.

Our expert teams have also set-up a treatment centre in Beni, a city with a population of 400,000 people. Halting the spread around large populations in centres like these is paramount. We are also providing training on 'infection prevention and control' to existing health centres in the surrounding area.

In 2014, a two-year outbreak began in West Africa which resulted in the deaths of 11,000 people the largest and deadliest outbreak to date. Throughout this, our staff were on the ground working to save lives.

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