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Russian Federation

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Chechnya and its neighbour to the west, Ingushetia, are small and poor Muslim-majority regions in the North Caucasus of the Russian Federation. The Chechen wars of the 1990s, triggered by independence movements in Chechnya and the brutal response by Moscow left an estimated 300,000 dead and nearly three-quarters of a million displaced, the majority of them in Ingushetia and Dagestan.

International Medical Corps has been working in the North Caucasus since 2000, providing primary health care, mother child health and psychosocial and mental health support to a corner of Russia emerging from the ruins of wars that have left poverty levels and  maternal and child mortality rates stubbornly high. We also support programmes to prevent gender-based violence and conduct public health outreach on tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, drug abuse and smoking prevention.

 

Primary Health Care
International Medical Corps provides primary health care services in the North Caucasus through a chain of about 70 mainly rural primary health care clinics and mobile medical teams (MMTs). In addition to basic health care, these facilities also offer psychosocial consultations, health education, family planning, growth monitoring for children under 5, and child vaccinations to fight tuberculosis and other infectious diseases.

As part of our holistic approach to health care, our programmes also include a livelihoods component featuring such tasks as bee-keeping and greenhouse construction in the belief that easing poverty and generating family income are key ingredients to improving health indicators. Since our arrival in 2000, we have renovated clinics, trained health care staff and provided medical equipment throughout the region.

Psychosocial Support & Mental Health Care
As in many other areas of the world, International Medical Corps conducts psychosocial support programmes in the North Caucasus through primary health care facilities. We train health care workers to recognise signs of emotional stress and mental illness, how to screen beneficiaries exhibiting those signs, as well as the basic steps for support and rehabilitation. In places such as the North Caucasus, where populations have been subjected to armed conflict or displacement, we consider this component of our health care as especially important.
Public Health Outreach
Russia has a worrisome, two-pronged problem with tuberculosis: a particularly lethal and drug-resistant strain of the disease together with one of the world’s highest infection rates. The chaotic, over-crowded, unhygienic living conditions that so often accompany the lives of civilians trapped in areas of armed conflict sharply increased the risk of tuberculosis. Because of all this, International Medical Corps places a high priority on its vaccination programmes, especially its efforts to prevent tuberculosis. We work with the ministries of health in the North Caucasus to build preventative capacity, including immunisation, as well as expanding capacity to care for those who have contracted the disease.  We also conduct programmes to address other public health dangers including HIV/AIDS and malaria.

 

Haiti

Just 22 hours after the devastating 7.0-earthquake hit in January 2010, International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team was on the ground in Haiti providing medical care to survivors. Our doctors and nurses were able to mobilise on an unparalleled scale to provide 24-hour emergency care to the acutely injured at the Hôpital de l’Université d’État d’Haiti (HUEH), a 700-bed hospital in Port-au-Prince. HUEH was badly damaged in the earthquake and many local health care professionals were missing. We were able to save thousands of lives through emergency and trauma care in the critical days following the earthquake.

At the height of emergency operations at the hospital, International Medical Corps treated approximately 1,000 patients per day. Our early entry also gave us the foundation to rapidly expand our operations to 15 mobile clinics throughout Haiti to provide critical services. Through the hospital and mobile and fixed clinics, International Medical Corps teams provided more than 110,000 patient consultations during the first year following the emergency.

When reports of acute diarrhoea emerged from the north of Haiti in October 2010, International Medical Corps doctors and nurses immediately deployed to the region providing emergency relief for the growing cholera crisis. Our network of rapidly constructed cholera treatment centres, supported by 820 community health volunteers to educate communities on how to prevent and identify cholera, meant that more than 30,000 cholera patients received life-saving treatment within the first year following the outbreak.

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Libya

Libya ambulanceInternational Medical Corps was among the first organisations to enter Libya once the conflict began in February 2011, providing emergency medical care to casualties from the fighting and support to hospitals with medical staff and supplies. Among the first challenges our Emergency Response Teams encountered was a chronic shortage of nurses, as thousands of foreign nurses had fled the country. In partnership with the Jordan Health Aid Society, International Medical Corps immediately deployed volunteer nurses to health centres across eastern Libya moving them to towns and cities throughout the country as access permitted. Volunteer nurses trained the local counterparts while working alongside them.

At the country’s borders and within Libya, we supplied those displaced by the fighting with essential relief items, including blankets, bottled water and food. Recognising the danger posed by communicable diseases, our sanitation and hygiene specialists constructed latrines and washing stations in transit camps along the Tunisia borders.

Libya 5As the fighting went on International Medical Corps worked as close to the front line as possible, providing emergency treatment to those injured in the conflict, and medicines and supplies to besieged towns and cities. In Misurata, inaccessible by road, we evacuated nearly 500 injured civilians by boat. International Medical Corps’ mobile field hospitals treated the wounded from battles in Tripoli, the Western Mountains, Bani Walid, Sabha, Jufrah and Qaddafi’s hometown of Sirte.

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Mali

Mali - villagerInternational Medical Corps mobilized an emergency response in Mali in January 2013 after rebel armed forces from the north began moving south, triggering French military intervention. In Timbuktu, which had spent months under the control of armed Islamist rebel our team were amongst the first international organisations to arrive and found pillaged clinics, missing medical personnel and damaged health infrastructure.

We immediately began supporting eight strategically targeted health clinics in remote areas around Timbuktu, where the Malian Ministry of Health has been unable to maintain adequate services to local communities. By providing medicines, training staff and recruiting qualified doctors and nurses, we can ensure local people will now have access to basic primary and secondary health care for the first time in months

Mali-Road-to-TimbuktuTrue to our mission to build self reliance, International Medical Corps is also already training community health workers to go out to local markets and spread essential hygiene, reproductive health and nutrition messages. We are also working to rehabilitate clinics damaged during the conflict, by building or repairing latrines, water systems, solar panel systems and other infrastructure repairs, enabling health workers to have stable and well-equipped facilities to help the people of Mali.

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Basanti & Bishal's story

Basanti, a young mother of two in Nepal, returned home from fetching water for her family to find her 8-month old son Bishal had fallen into the open cooking fire. Basanti was in shock, but she wrapped her baby in blankets and ran for help. No one in their village or at the local health post knew what to do so she had to travel more than six hours by bus to seek emergency care at the closest hospital. The district hospital could only stabilize Bishal and wasn’t able to treat his wounds properly. As a result, his little fingers contracted into a fist as the burned skin contracted and “healed” over the coming year, making it impossible for him to use his hand. His cheek, lips and eyelid also contracted and tightened, threatening his vision.

After selling part of their farm to pay for transportation to Kathmandu, Basanti sought further treatment for her baby. However, two hospitals in the nation’s capital could not help either. Adding to Basanti’s struggles, her husband abandoned the family, leaving her alone to care for Bishal and his four-year-old sister.

Thankfully, Basanti heard about the surgical care available through ReSurge International, our trusted partner with a 43-year history of serving burn victims. Dr. Rai, ReSurge’s Outreach Director in Nepal, and his team restored Bishal’s eyelid and his hand will soon be surgically repaired as well.

Even though it took more than a year for him to get appropriate treatment, Bishal is one of the lucky ones. Thousands of children never get the care they need to live a normal life after a disabling burn.

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Our impact through training in 2012

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Our Mother Care Group Approach

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Read more about our community based approach to prevention and treatment of malnutrition

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