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Doctors Without Borders


Doctors without Borders is a humanitarian organization that brings together professionals in the medical field such as doctors, nurses, midwives and community workers to offer assistance to human beings in areas with crises. Such crises include wars, famine, epidemics and other natural disasters. The organization was founded in 1971 by teams of French doctors that reasoned that everyone regardless of origin, creed, political affiliation or race has a right to access medical attention at any time. The organization is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.


Doctors without Borders was founded out of the political turmoil that hit the Biafra region of Nigeria that had successfully seceded from Nigeria. The Nigerian military had blockaded this newly independent region depriving the inhabitants of essential supplies such as medicine, food and water. Other relief aid organizations appeared to side with the Nigerian government thereby prompting the French doctors to propose the formation of an aid organization with no religious or political affiliations.

The organization is actively involved in recruiting suitable personnel amongst populations that are at risk for training in key areas in healthcare. Such training ensures that these populations access basic healthcare services such as immunizations for young children, antenatal care for expectant mothers, basic hygiene and diet programs. The access to such services reduces the exposure of the populations to the risk of contracting preventable illnesses thereby reducing fatalities.

The organization works through field missions where its officials make advance visits to areas designated as risky in terms of wars, epidemics, famine or other disasters. The advance teams authenticate the nature of the humanitarian assistance required by the populations of such areas. The organization prioritizes medical assistance to such populations even though they also extend their services to nutrition and hygiene programs such as water purification. Such nutrition and hygiene programs play a notable role in preventing the onset of nutritional deficiency diseases and outbreak of water-borne diseases such as cholera.


The need for humanitarian assistance for populations caught in armed conflicts or natural disasters is one of the primary aspects of demonstrating care and respect for humanity. The organization has been visible in most of the armed conflicts in regions such as Africa, Europe and the Arab world. Their intervention has left an indelible mark amongst such populations through saving millions of lives endangered by the outbreak of these crises. It is, therefore, crucial for individuals and organizations to support the work of this entity through donations and volunteer personnel.


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