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Review for Doctors Without Borders USA Inc, New York, NY, USA

Rating: 3 stars  

Doctors Without Borders is an international organization that seeks to provide medical attention to individuals that have been impacted by natural disaster, conflict, or limited accessibility to health care services. They have provided relief in 70 countries worldwide with recent work in Western Africa treating people who have been affected by the Ebola crisis.

The work done by Doctors Without Borders has been shown to reduce the hardships in developing countries during a crisis. However, once the immediate crisis subsides they train individuals in the region to run the medical centers and Doctors Without Borders leaves the operation in the hands of the locals. I think there is little question that the organization has a positive impact on relief efforts, but they may not contribute to long term development. This does not address the larger structural issues that plague developing regions and keep those affected in poverty. This ultimately results in regions reverting back to the same conditions they had before they were faced with a crisis.

Overall, Doctors Without Borders is a stable organization that has a positive impact in the developing world, and although health care is a factor in development the relief nature of their programs prevents them from having a long term effect in those regions. Relief efforts are important in the developing world but at a certain point focus needs to be redirected to finding long lasting solutions to the problems that cause overwhelming poverty. Money donated to Doctors Without Borders is well spent and benefits those with urgent need. That being said, I think the organization would have an even bigger impact if they did more work to address the underlying causes of poverty that make extensive relief necessary.

Role:  General Member of the Public