Médecins Sans Frontières is honoured to receive the World Federation of Public Health Associations (WFPHA) 2017 Organizational Excellence Award. The award recognises outstanding contributions to public health by a non-governmental (NGO) organisation or institution working to promote health, to prevent disease and injury, and to ensure conditions in which we all can be safe and healthy.
Médecins Sans Frontières is an international medical humanitarian organisation that provides emergency medical aid in 69 countries. The award will be presented at the World Congress on Public Health on 5 April in Melbourne, Australia. Dr Philip Humphris, Board Member of Médecins Sans Frontières Australia, will receive the award on behalf of Médecins Sans Frontières. Dr Humphris is a medical doctor with a public health background who has managed Médecins Sans Frontières programs in Sudan, Iraq, Cameroon and in Central America. “It is a great honour for our organisation, and a strong encouragement for our thousands of international and national staff who work around the world to alleviate suffering and save lives,” said Dr Humphris. He acknowledges that although Médecins Sans Frontières does not assume political responsibility for public health, the organisation does provide health services to vast populations in many countries. For instance, Médecins Sans Frontières strives to offer routine childhood vaccinations as part of its basic healthcare program, including vaccinating more than 1.5 million people against measles in 2015.
President of the WFPHA, Dr Michael Moore, says it is appropriate “to acknowledge the outstanding contribution of Médecins Sans Frontières to world health. Not only is their contribution made by ensuring treatment of those in need, but Médecins Sans Frontières has committed serious resources to preventive activities. Their focus on providing priority support for the most vulnerable is just part of a public health approach adopted by Médecins Sans Frontières. They deserve recognition.”
Médecins Sans Frontières is an international, independent, medical humanitarian organisation that delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural disasters and exclusion from healthcare. Médecins Sans Frontières offers assistance to people based on need, irrespective of race, religion, gender or political affiliation. Our actions are guided by medical ethics and the principles of neutrality and impartiality.
The Australian section of Médecins Sans Frontières was established in 1995, and is one of 24 international Medecins Sans Frontières offices around the world committed to delivering medical humanitarian assistance to populations in crisis. Last year Médecins Sans Frontières Australia sent 204 field workers to work in humanitarian crises around the world. Médecins Sans Frontières delivers medical care based on need alone and operates independently of government, religion or economic influence and irrespective of race, religion or gender.