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Working in a prison in Myanmar: Médecins Sans Frontières’ experience working in Insein prison

Working in a prison for a humanitarian organisation is not easy, particularly because of the specific characteristics of such places. Médecins Sans Frontières’ experience working in Insein prison illustrates the difficulties of achieving objectives both in terms of results (long term provision of appropriate and full medical care to patients) and working conditions (minimal manipulation, indiscriminate access to patients, etc.).

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Advocating “Dignity” and “Return” for Lebanon’s Palestinians: Imagining a Diasporic Project

The 2010 reform of the legal regime regulating Palestinians’ access to the labour market in Lebanon ignited a heated debate among Lebanese, Palestinians, and international political actors. This article analyses the advocacy initiatives preceding the reform to answer the following question: what signifiers of Palestinian-ness have Palestinian political entrepreneurs mobilised?

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Understanding Power Relationships: Commentary on Wurr C and Cooney L (2014) 'Ethical Dilemmas in Population-Level Treatment of Lead Poisoning in Zamfara State, Nigeria'

After 4 years of relief activities, it is difficult to keep managing the lead poisoning epidemic in northern Nigeria as an emergency situation, while it appears clearly to be a more complex, widespread and chronic public health issue than anticipated. Making the continuing treatment of children conditional upon commitments from impacted families to adhere to safe mining practices is unlikely to bring about any long-term benefit. This is because such commitment is ultimately not in the hands of the victims or their families.

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Cancer care for refugees

Along with other non-communicable diseases, cancer is now recognised as a major challenge for humanitarian health providers and for those who finance their programmes. The recent Policy Review of cancer treatment requests submitted to UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Exceptional Care Committees (ECC), by Paul Spiegel and colleagues, makes a valuable contribution to a sparse evidence base.

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Exploring alternative narratives: the prioritisation of polio in northern Nigeria

Tara Mangal and colleagues present compelling evidence that lends support to the suggestion that the efficacy of the oral poliovirus vaccine varies depending on its composition, thus reinforcing similar findings reported by Jenkins and colleagues in 2008. However, the persistence of polio in the northern states of Nigeria cannot be adequately explained by the chemical properties of the vaccine and therefore warrants further exploration.

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“From the American People”: the US Farm Bill and the reform of emergency food aid

On Nov 8, 2013, Typhoon Haiyan made landfall in the Philippines. Winds of up to 235 km/h cut through the province of Eastern Samar as the storm progressed westwards and further towards the centre of the island archipelago. In the immediate aftermath of the storm, a myriad of humanitarian stakeholders scrambled to provide basic services including health care, shelter, and food to the affected population.

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Humanitarian work in prisons: the experience of Médecins Sans Frontières

Humanitarian action by NGOs in detention centres is quite rare and poorly documented. Despite the fact that prisoners are among those who have the least access to quality health care services, MSF has never chosen to make detention centres one of its strategic priorities. The inherent difficulties linked to this operational context explain the limited number of projects the organisation has developed and managed in prisons.
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The interaction between humanitarian non-governmental organisations and extractive industries: a perspective from Médecins Sans Frontières

This opinion note explores some aspects of the relationship between humanitarian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and extractive industries. Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders, MSF) has endorsed a policy of non-engagement with the corporate sector of the extractive industries, particularly when it comes to financial donations.
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