© Didier Weber
Canadian doctor Joanne Liu, the international President of Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) visited Luxembourg.
Dr Joanne Liu agreed to meet us to talk about their lessons and their work on the ground. The work of MSF has developed positively over the last year, but also hit some new stumbling blocks.
So far, the 21st century has been strenuous for Médecins Sans Frontières. They have been bombed, pushed away and were practically completely ignored when they first raised alarms regarding the Ebola epidemic.
Nevertheless, MSF (also called Doctors Without Borders), are sticking to their principles in a global landscape, where old agreements don't always work anymore and where the organisation increasingly faces criminalisation.
"There were campaigns and legal action taken against MSF measures in the Mediterranean. We were in international waters to save people, but were criminalised for it.", says Liu.
The term "fear" plays a big role in the migration crisis. In the West, fear is predominant and seems impossible to shake off ever since 9/11. Fear in western society is a construct that comes from far away, says the president of MSF.
A considerable MSF success this year has been the effective control measures against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Numbers of vaccinations administered at the height of an epidemic had never been as high as here. This is thanks to a swift and efficient reaction, but some lessons have still not been learned.
Communications on local terrain are patchy and remote. Distance means radio relay or signals are unreliable.
One of the biggest issues MSF face is the use of the astronaut-like protective wear. The suits instill panic, unsettling the local population, says the President, and though providing a layer of necessary protection also limit the human contact required in such high pressured and emotional situations.
The support of the local community is of paramount importance, so more progress should be made in that regard.
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