This private, nonprofit voluntary organization, also known as Doctors Without Borders, was founded in 1971 by a small group of French physicians. It has become the world's largest independent medical relief organization with sections in 18 countries. MSF is at the forefront of emergency health care and care for populations with endemic diseases and neglect. In catastrophes, such as armed conflicts, natural disasters, epidemics and famines, MSF provides primary health care, performs surgery, rehabilitates hospitals and clinics, and runs public health programs. Through long-term programs, MSF treats chronic diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, sleeping sickness, and AIDS. Each year, MSF deploys more than 2,500 medical and support volunteers who join 15,000 locally hired staff to provide medical aid in more than 80 countries. MSF unites direct medical care with a commitment to bearing witness and speaking out against the underlying causes of suffering. MSF's resources originate mainly from private donations, with additional funding from donor governments, the European Union, and such UN entities as the UN High Commissioner for Refugees. MSF is politically neutral and differs from other organizations, such as the International Committee of Red Cross-Red Crescent Societies (ICRC), in focusing on the provision of continuing curative and public health services for noncombatants. See http://www.msf.org/ for details.
Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology.