Without Borders - The good cause
Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) gives medical support to people
hit by catastrophes. MSF is active throughout the world and has no political,
national or religious affiliation. In 1999 they were helping people in
80 different countries, including some of those visited by Team Busch.
The aim of MSF is to give basic medical support to those people most in
need of it.
Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is one of the world's largest independent humanitarian medical aid agency and is committed to two objectives: providing medical aid wherever it is needed, regardless of race, religion, politics or sex and raising awareness of the plight of the people.
On 20 December 1971, a group of French doctors found Médecins Sans Frontières, the first non-military, non-governmental organisation to specialise in emergency medical assistance. Most of the founders have worked for the Red Cross in Biafra between 1968 and 1970. Their aim is to rectify what they perceive as the shortcomings of international aid: that it offers too little medical assistance and that aid agencies are overly reticent in the face of the many legal and administrative obstacles to the provision of effective humanitarian relief. The founders of MSF also distinguish themselves from other aid workers by their awareness of the role of the media in bringing the plight of population to the attention of the general public. A recent focus of their actions has been the campaign for access to essential medicines. By lobbying companies and governments they want to reduce the cost of first-world medicine to third-world countries. In 1999 the Médecins Sans Frontières won the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts.
The charter of Médecins Sans Frontières:
MSF is a private international organisation. Most of its members are doctors and health workers, but many other support professions contribute to MSF's smooth functioning. All of them agree to honour the following principles:
- Médecins Sans Frontières offers assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man-made disasters and to victims of armed conflict, without discrimation and irrespective of race, religion, creed or political affiliation.
- Médecins Sans Frontières observes neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics and the right to humanitarian assistance and demands full and unhindered freedom in the exercise of its functions.
- Médecins Sans Frontières' volunteers undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and to maintain complete independence from all political, economic and religious powers.
- As volunteers, members are aware of the risks and dangers of the mission they undertake, and have no right to compensation for themselves or their beneficiaries other than that which MSF is able to afford them.
If you want to find out more about Medecins Sans Frontieres, please visit their website at www.msf.org