Médecins du Monde

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Médecins du monde
Founded1980 (1980)
FounderBernard Kouchner and others
TypeMedical humanitarian organisation
HeadquartersParis, France
Area served
Worldwide
Budget (2014)
€135 million
Volunteers
4,000
Websitewww.medecinsdumonde.org

Médecins du monde (MdM; French pronunciation: ​[medsɛ̃ dy mɔ̃d]) or Doctors of the World, provides emergency and long-term medical care to the world's most vulnerable people. It also advocates to end health inequities.

It was founded in 1980 by a group of 15 French physicians, including Bernard Kouchner. MdM is active in over 80 countries with approximately 400 programs active, in both the developed and developing world.[1]

History[edit]

MdM was formally established on 1 February 1980. Its goals were "to go where others will not, to testify to the intolerable, and to volunteer".

The origins of MdM lay with Médecins Sans Frontières. During the Vietnam War, the future founding members of MdM were approached with the idea of aiding Vietnamese refugees fleeing by ship on the South China Sea.[2] The majority of the Médecins Sans Frontières were against aiding the Vietnamese refugees. However, Kouchner, along with volunteer doctors, journalists, and others organized a hospital boat, L'Île de lumière, to provide medical care and to report the refugees' suffering.

MdM was founded as Bernard Kouchner and 14 others doctors split from the group he previously founded, Medecins Sans Frontiers (MSF, or Doctors Without Borders). It has been reported Kouchner felt that MSF was giving up its founding principle of témoignage ("witnessing"), which refers to aid workers making the atrocities they observe known to the public.

Kouchner was president of MdM from 1980 to 1982. In 1989, the foundation of MdM Spain paved the way for the creation of the MdM international network. In 2015, the MdM global network consisted of fifteen associations; France (founded 1980), Spain (founded 1989), Greece (founded 1990), Italy and Switzerland (both founded 1993), Sweden (founded 1994), Cyprus (founded 1995 by Elena Theoharous[3]), Argentina (founded 1998), Belgium, Canada and Portugal (all founded 1999), as well as in Germany, the United Kingdom, Japan, the Netherlands, and the USA.

Doctors of the World USA[edit]

Doctors of the World USA, also known as MdM USA, was founded in 1990 by famous doctor and activist Jonathan Mann. The group ultimately separated from the MdM network in 2006, and became HealthRight International.

Doctors of the World USA is the 15th chapter of the MDM network. It was re-founded by committed humanitarian activists in 2011, with Dr Abby Stoddard as its founding chair. Fraser Mooney, a long-term AIDS and social justice activist, became the organization's Executive Director in 2016.

Doctors of the World UK[edit]

In 1998, Doctors of the World UK became a registered charity in England and Wales and initially only contributed to Médecins du Monde international work. It launched its UK Programme in 2006, when they opened a clinic in Bethnal Green, in east London. The clinic provides information and medical assistance to people who face barriers to access mainstream health services, such as undocumented migrants, asylum seekers and the homeless. In 2018, a successful campaign #StopSharing, contributed to the data sharing MOU between NHS Digital and the Home Office, which had been signed as part of the Hostile Environment.

After the Ebola crisis West Africa in 2014, it helped run a treatment centre in Moyamba, Sierra Leone. DOTW UK volunteer Professor Bulstrode was awarded a CBE for his involvement in the Ebola crisis. It is currently providing healthcare for refugees and migrants in several countries in Europe, including Greece and Croatia, and Ukraine.

Drs. Chris and Xand van Tulleken, who present the CBBC series Operation Ouch!, were Board Members of DOTW UK until 2018.

Operations[edit]

MdM programs focus on four priority areas: Conflict and Crisis, Harm Reduction, Maternal and Child Health, and Migrant Populations.

MdM operates in both the developed and developing world, aiding in treatment of refugees, reducing harm long-term, fighting sexually-transmitted diseases, and promoting sexual health and mental wellness.[4] In 2018, Doctors of the World (MdM) provided care in 79 countries with over 300 programs in North and South America, Europe, Africa and Asia.

Finances[edit]

In 2018, the Doctors of the World international network had a budget of some 250 million euros, and provided services to more than 6.5 million people worldwide. It allocated 78.5% of its budget to programs.15.5% to fundraising, and 6% to operating expenses.[5]

The organization is analyzed regularly by an independent committee to examine the operations of MdM and the allocation of their finances.[6] In depth audits of MdM are done by the French government and Deloitte.

Surveillance by British and American intelligence agencies revealed[edit]

In December 2013, documents released by National Security Agency whistle blower Edward Snowden revealed that British and American intelligence agencies had been carrying on secret surveillance of several humanitarian organizations including Médecins du Monde. Leigh Daynes, Executive Director of Doctors of the World UK said that he was "bewildered by these extraordinary allegations of secret surveillance. Our doctors, nurses and midwives are not a threat to national security. There is absolutely no reason for our operations to be secretly monitored." Other humanitarian organizations targeted include the United Nations Development Programme, the children's charity UNICEF, and the head of the Economic Community of West African States.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Where We Work". Doctors of the World. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  2. ^ Fox, Renée (December 1995). "Medical humanitarianism and human rights: Reflections on Doctors Without Borders and Doctors of the World". Social Science & Medicine. 41: 1608 – via ScienceDirect.
  3. ^ "Aid mission: boat departs Cyprus". Irish Times. 2008-12-30. Archived from the original on 2008-12-30. Retrieved 2008-12-31.
  4. ^ "About us". www.medecinsdumonde.org. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  5. ^ "Financial transparency". www.medecinsdumonde.org. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  6. ^ "Donor Committee". www.medecinsdumonde.org. Retrieved 2019-03-26.
  7. ^ GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief | UK news | The Guardian