our field workers
Remarks: The field worker went to the project in the middle of year 2021. Local contexts has evolved and changed since.
"It's like, you live in the downtown and you know that there's a war going on in the suburbs some distance away. Life is still business as usual, but all of a sudden, there's an explosion two blocks away, and you have no time to gather your family members, and must hit the road immediately.”
Vincent Pau is a nurse from Hong Kong. He described what happened to refugees in Tigray, Ethiopia.
Since late 2020, the large-scaled violent conflict in Tigray region of Ethiopia has forced millions of people to flee their homes and become displaced. Quite many of them fled across the border to Sudan, and some lived in the country’s Um Rakuba refugee camp. Due to the shortage of local medical resources, MSF set up a medical facility in the camp to provide basic healthcare.
In June 2021, Vincent started his mission in there.
"Although this clinic can only provide basic treatment, it can make a huge difference between zero to one. For example, most of the patients who have malaria can be treated by a three-day treatment. However, if they are not treated in time, that may lead to serious complications and death.”
During this mission in Sudan, Vincent was assigned to an emergency mission for a week.
At that time, there were around 1,000 people fled to a very remote place in Sudan to take refuge, and there was no drinking water, food or toilets. Nearby villagers saw the situation and informed MSF. MSF had already dispatched personnel to several nearby projects in Sudan and formed an emergency assessment team to go to the scene immediately to understand the needs of the refugees.
"At that time, those refugees were living in a abandoned school. They told us that they were starving for four days and many people were sick. It was a very difficult situation for refugees when they were forced to flee to this new place."
The assessment team started working immediately. Vincent and the doctor set up a temporary clinic, while the logistician arranged food and water supply. Human resources colleagues hired a translator and the water and sanitation specialist was responsible for building toilets. "We don't need to say too much to each other and we start work with a tacit understanding."
In just three days, the team has temporarily solved the problems of food, water and toilets, meeting the most urgent and basic needs of the refugees. "Although this week's work was the hardest of the entire mission, I was able to work hard with a group of outstanding teammates, from zero to one, and the refugees’ environment has improved a lot. I am also very happy to be part of it."
"I want those in distress to know they are not being forgotten. Even though we don't know each other, we are still willing to help, and I think that's a very important purpose of MSF's work."