In June 2015, I joined MSF in Ramtha district as an emergency room doctor and a supervising doctor for the inpatient department responsible for receiving emergency cases from Syria. All those cases were critical war injuries caused by missiles, explosive barrels, mines or bullets.
© Mahsa Ahrabi-Fard
“I took my son to the health centre today because he is malnourished. I have just visited so that he can receive his treatment, a therapeutic food. This health centre is wonderful because when we come with our children or when we are ill ourselves, we are looked after for free. When Boko Haram attacked, we left Malanfatori in a rush and in a total panic. Some of our children succeeded in fleeing with us, but others were left behind and some women lost their husbands during the escape. They pursued us until we succeeded in crossing the Komadougou river to come to Niger. We arrived empty-handed and our husbands are not working. It is difficult to find food and it is very difficult to live in these conditions. Sometimes the state gives us help, and that is a relief.”Niger
In June 2014, 32-year-old Ruslan Ozdoyev became MSF’s first XDR-TB patient in Chechnya to start a new treatment regimen containing bedaquiline. Within two months of treatment, he tested negative for TB. On 15 July 2016, Ruslan was declared cured.
“I was admitted to the hospital with the most complicated diagnosis of TB. I weighed 75kg before the disease. After I fell ill, my weight dropped to 40kg. I was taking drugs, but there was no improvement. In July 2014, they started me on a new treatment. In the beginning it was very tough. I was nauseous and vomited, but began to get better after some time. My weight went up to 70kg. I want to thank everyone who took care of me. Now this is the treatment that really works.”Russian Federation
“Just imagine being told that you have MDR-TB just before Christmas. The same day the doctor gave me tablets and I also got an injection. The injections were painful. I was scared of the needle because I had to be injected every day. Sometimes I would bleed and I even got lumps. I swallowed a lot of tablets, so I would vomit or be dizzy. Later, we were told about a new medication that is available in Khayelitsha that not a lot of people are lucky enough to have. Dr Jenny [Hughes] of MSF explained more about this new drug called delamanid. In February 2015, I started taking it. All I can say is that there is hope. I trusted it with my life and it worked. My gran and everybody started noticing the difference – even my gran’s church friends saw the change.”South Africa
I collect my drugs from JCI clinic. It takes me around five hours to travel to and from my clinic and I spend SZL 60 for the trip. In May 2016, a small group of neighbours on HIV treatment and I formed a community antiretroviral treatment group (CAG). Each month, the group chooses one member who goes to the clinic to collect the medication for the others.
I find being in the group very helpful and I am able to save the little money that I have. Today, it was my turn to come to the clinic to fetch the medication. When I was done with all my HIV-related consultations and collecting the medication, I decided to do the test to check if I have cancer (VIA screening).
The nurse told me that there were whitish patches in my cervix. He said this means I have sores in my cervix and therefore a high chance of getting cervical cancer. He treated the sores and told me to come back to the clinic if I bleed. I am relieved now that I have done the test and have received the necessary treatment on time.Swaziland