Sans Frontières, also known as Doctors Without Borders, is a humanitarian-aid
non-governmental organization that volunteers to aid people in places of mass
violence, medical neglect, endemic disease outbreaks or a catastrophe. Doctors
Without Borders was founded in 1971, by a group of French doctors and
journalists to reinvent the concept of emergency aid. By 2007, over 26,000 doctors,
nurses, medical professionals, water and sanitation engineers, logistical
experts and administrators provided medical aid in more than 60 countries.
aims to intervene in any crisis on the basis of the people's needs and does not
consider any political, economic or religious interests of the place or people.
They are free to act and make decisions independently and this feature makes
them act quickly without waiting for prior permission from the government or
any kind of law. Thus, they are the first to be on the scene of crisis,
sometimes even before the media reaches there.
Facts on Doctors Without Borders:
is an impartial organization that aims to provide high-quality medical care to
the needy, as soon as possible.
- MSF is not connected to any
particular country, political party or religious faith.
- On any given day, one can find
that more than 30,000 volunteers that include doctors, nurses, therapists,
medical professionals, engineers, logisticians, water and sanitation experts
and administrators would be on the job, providing medical care in some part
around the world.
- MSF aims to provide medical
relief and food and shelter to crises such as armed conflict, malnutrition,
natural disasters, epidemics, exclusion from health care, negligence of medical
facilities or remote areas where medical facilities are not present.
- The medical and logistical
departments work together to incorporate current research advances and
innovations into the work being carried out. Specialized medical kits and
equipment is deployed right away as soon as they reach the site of disaster. These
medical kits may contain everything required to set up an operating room right
in the middle of a war-front, or immense supplies needed for the immediate use
on hundreds of patients affected with an endemic disease like Ebola or Cholera.
- "Epicenter" is the name of
MSF's epidemiological research arm. It studies and appraises the medical and
nutritional needs in their area of operation, improving protocols and treatment
strategies and developing high quality medical care initiatives in field projects.
How does the team at Doctors Without Borders work?
1. When a crisis breaks, needs are gauged, staff of the area is mobilized or an
emergency team reaches the spot immediately. Emergency supplies from medicines,
surgical kits to inflatable hospitals are always ready. Cash reserves collected
from the various donations and government aids are mobilized.
emergency team is a group of professionals and experts in key areas such as
medical care, logistics, crisis response and management. The emergency team is
always ready to be deployed to the crisis areas within hours of an emergency.
In Haiti, for example, the first victim of the 2010's earthquake was treated
within five minutes.
emergency team provides initial assessment of the situation and sends report
and proposal to the MSF headquarters office, which sends personnel, materials,
resources and securing funds.
protocols, specialized kits and equipment are transported within hours.
stays in a project field for a few weeks to months or years. Sometimes, the
work may carry on for over a decade.
MSF services wind up
when the epidemic or conflict has abated or local organizations take over the
Who can join Doctors Without Borders?
MSF strives for diverse team members without any regard to age, sex, race,
religion, sexual orientation or disability. Any person who is willing to:
at least for a period of 9 to 12 months
- Travel and adjust to the
conditions of the field of work
- Be flexible and adaptable to
situations and crisis
able to handle stress in the field.
volunteer in the Doctors Without Borders, one needs at least 2 years of
relevant experience in their profession. They must have an ability to work with
a diverse group of professionals. Computer skills and knowing many languages
are added assets.
professionals are required in the field of:
- Anesthetists - Doctors and
- Obstetricians and
- Registered Mental health
- Laboratory Scientists
- Financial Administrators
- Human Resource Administrators
- Registered Nurses
- General and Technical
- Infectious Diseases
Any person willing to offer volunteer services at the office can also provide
support to the permanent staff.
Funds for Doctors
90% of the funds come from individual donors who pool up small amounts. Funds
from governments and large institutions may require a lot of paper work, which
might take time. Private and unrestricted funds allow quick decision-making and