Doctors Without Borders Stretched to its Limits with Ebola
David Villars calls Doctors without Borders the “most functional outfit in a dysfunctional global health system” and the “one-stop shop for West African governments seeking quick solutions to the Ebola crisis" in his Wall Street Journal article, “Ebola Crisis Stretches Doctors without Borders’ Means.” How functional is this unit? Doctors without Borders has treated more than 60% of all Ebola patients in West Africa as of the end of October, built many treatment clinics, recruited 3,400 people to work on the crisis, helped run several clinical trials of experimental drugs in its West African treatment centers. As a result, 24 of the NGO’s workers have been infected with Ebola and 13 have dies.
What factors drive its functionality? It received $1.3 billion in funding from various foundations, individuals, and governments. Furthermore, it’s functioning for 43 years gave it more experience and logistical expertise than other organizations have to deal with Ebola. While many NGO’s have been too overwhelmed and have failed to accomplish their objectives, this NGF has powered through for eight months.
Despite its achievements in confronting the emergency, dealing with the crisis has put a to of burden on the organization. The Ebola outbreak is nothing that the organization has dealt with before. Marc Poncin, head of the NGO’s Ebola mission in Guinea admits that it’s been extremely challenging, “We’ve had to fill the vacuum, but fixing Ebola is too big for us.”
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