2. Overview & History
● Doctors Without Borders is a non-profit, self-governed, member-based organization that was founded in
1971 in Paris by a group of journalists and doctors.
● Doctors Without Borders is an NGO company that provides medical assistance to those affected by
conflict, epidemics, disasters, or exclusion from healthcare with over 65,000 people worldwide.
● Tens of thousands healthcare professionals, logistic and administrative staff are brought together by their
● Their actions are guided by medical ethics and three principals.
3. THE MISSION
MSF’s actions are first and foremost
medical with quality care for the individual
patient is central to their humanitarian
Provide high-quality care and to act always
in the best interest of the patient they are
serving, “MSF rejects the idea that
developing countries deserve third-rate
MSF strives to respect patient’s
confidentiality, their right to make their
own decisions and most importantly, to do
them no harm
When medical assistance is not enough,
MSF may provide shelter, water and
sanitation, food or other services
4. Programs & Other Activities
Doctors Without Borders has dozens of programs within their company to assist
those in need. Some are research based, analysis heavy, logistics, regional research,
medical units, supply programs, humanitarian law, and conferences to meet with
other medical professionals in their respective field. They are constantly trying to
improve in all aspects and be a leader in medical innovation. . A few of them are
UREPH is based in Geneva and aims to improve MSF projects & participatein
critical thinking to improve, ARHP is based in Barcelona and they document and
reflects on the operational challenges/dilemmas faced by the field teams, MSF
Supply provides storage of & delivers medical equipment , logistics, and drugs for
international purposes, SAMU provides strategic, clinical and implementation
support related to HIV & TB. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to
their programs spanning across the globe.
These programs support diverse people groups and allow for research to be done on
various topics that will serve a greater purpose in getting medical assistance to
those in need. By having these programs, it allows for isolated research and
knowledge to be gained. Besides medical treatment, they also provide water and
sanitation, shelter, and food by case.
5. Form of Power
The form of power that Doctors Without Borders uses is Biological Power
or Biopower. Biopower is when global organizations develop policies,
programs/infrastructure in order to improve the health, safety, and living
conditions of populations. This is exactly what MSF does through their
work. Their mission is to provide better healthcare to ultimately improve
the populations of countries that are underdeveloped regardless of race,
political affiliation, religion, creed, etc. They have partnered with other
organizations that share this social power, like UNICEF, to improve the
healthcare of children across the globe. They have programs reaching
hundreds of countries such as Niger, Bangladesh, Greece, Hong Kong,
Afghanistan, Russia, and others. Their list of involvement in the world is
extensive.. MSF is fighting HIV/TB in Africa, cholera, fighting for children’s
health, constantly researching, and assisting those in need during crisis.
This power is important because the problems that are affecting the health
and welfare of populations are being viewed as global concerns. Currently,
the COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest concern. A rising global concern is
the southern region of the globe. By having biopower, it is ensuring human
security and the betterment of our globe. MSF is crucial to helping those in
The impacts seen by Doctors Without Borders have been
evident around the globe. Perhaps the most relevant impact
that is being seen now is their assistance with the pandemic
and serving those who are in danger while educating them on
01 | Helped amidst COVID-19
02 | Implemented a joint Targeted Supplementary Feeding
Initiative in Zinder
03 | Aided the Niger Research Center in all research
process stages, such as medical and scientific staff training.
04 | Working to protect the health of children
Notes de l'éditeur
Doctors Without Borders was started in Paris in the wake of war and famine in Nigeria. A group of journalists and doctors wanted to deliver emergency medicine quickly, effectively, and impartially. It was created in the belief that “all people should have access to healthcare regardless of gender, race, religion, creed or political affiliation, and that people’s medical needs outweigh respect for national boundaries.” This is what has brought together tens if thousands of healthcare workers across the world as they all share these sentiments. The three principles that guide them are to provide assistance to populations in distress, to victims of natural or man made disasters and to victims of armed conflict. This is done irrespective of race, religion, creed and political convictions. The second is that they observe neutrality and impartiality in the name of universal medical ethics, and the third is members undertake to respect their professional code of ethics and maintain complete independence from all political, economic, or religious powers.
MSF’s mission is to first and foremost provide individuals with quality care regardless of where they come from or what they believe while giving priority to those in the most serious or immediate danger. They are innovative in their idea that developing countries do not deserve third-rate medical care but can be a priority in the medical field. MSF also strives to provide the highest care possible that is in the best interest of the patient while maintaining confidentiality and letting them make their own decisions. The most important, however, is to not harm any patient they see or cause inconvenience later on. While medical care is top notch, they also look at the broader picture to determine if other services like food and water, sanitation, or shelter is also needed to help care for the victims of tragedy. This is all done in a non-profit and self-governed system.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, MSF has assisted countries with underdeveloped healthcare systems that were especially vulnerable to the virus. They supported four hospitals at the epicenter of the outbreak while working on infection control and treatment. In Hong Kong, they have been educating the population on the importance of preventing the the spread of COVID. In Iran, they submitted a proposal for patients affected by COVID and have been advocating for those in crowded refugee camps in Greece and Bangladesh. Their involvement with COVID-19 has reached across the globe with focus on countries that are struggling politically or financially to protect their population and their medical professionals. Lack of personal protective equipment in Yemen also sparked their intervention as Yemen has also experienced political turmoil that left them with little resources and doctors to fight the virus in a safe manner.