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Why are we There?

  • Armed conflict
  • Endemic/Epidemic disease

Our Work


  • Some 200,000 refugees from the civil war in South Sudan arrived in Gambella region, western Ethiopia, between December 2013 and October 2014.
  • From February 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières provided medical consultations and care at entry points close to the border.
  • Teams worked at a health post in Pagak and Tiergol, ran mobile clinics in Pamdong and Burbiey, and conducted outpatient consultations at a health post in the Matar transit camps. Médecins Sans Frontières also started a programme in Leitchuor camp. 
  • Médecins Sans Frontières ran inpatient and outpatient services for refugees and the host population at a 118-bed health centre in Itang, close to Kule and Tierkidi camps, where more than 100,000 people had settled by April.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières provided decentralised medical care through two health posts in Tierkidi camp and three in Kule, and ran a 120-bed hospital in Kule.
  • To address the lack of clean water and sanitation facilities in Kule and Tierkidi camps, Médecins Sans Frontières set up a water treatment plant that produced 56.4 million litres of safe water before it was handed over to Oxfam in July.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières launched a preventative vaccination campaign against cholera in Gambella region in July, targeting 155,000 refugees and members of the host community who each received two doses of the vaccine.
  • In November, some 23,000 children aged six weeks to five years were immunised against pneumococcus and common childhood diseases.


Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region (SNNPR)

  • A programme focused on health services for mothers and children under five continued in the Aroressa and Chire woredas(districts) of Sidama, SNNPR.
  • During the course of the project, which was handed over to the Ministry of Health in October, two maternity waiting houses were constructed to enable women with high-risk pregnancies who lived far from health facilities to deliver safely.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières also supported referrals of paediatric emergencies and women presenting with complications during labour to hospitals in Hawassa, Yirga Alem or Addis Ababa. 
  • Médecins Sans Frontières started a new project in SNNPR in October, together with the Regional Health Bureau. Its purpose is to strengthen the emergency preparedness, surveillance system and response capacity of the public health management team in six selected zones of the SNNPR. These zones are Sidama, Wollayta, Gamogofa, Segen, South Omo and Bench Maji.


Somali region

  • Underdevelopment and conflict between the government and armed opposition groups pose barriers to healthcare in Somali region, and 200–500 refugees from Somalia arrive in the Liben zone each month.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières continued to assist with the provision of basic healthcare at the reception centre and in the camps.
  • A team also provided medical care for Somali refugees and the host community in Dolo Ado, Liben zone.
  • Between January and March teams vaccinated 12,100 children against measles and carried out several rounds of polio vaccinations in collaboration with the Regional Bureau of Health. 
  • Médecins Sans Frontières supported the regional hospital in Degehabur, providing inpatient care for children under five, tuberculosis (TB) treatment, nutritional support, and emergency room and intensive care services.
  • It also supported three health centres and nine health posts in Degehabur, Ararso and Birqod woredas, and conducted outreach activities.
  • In September, Médecins Sans Frontières started supporting Fiq hospital, Nogob zone, and provided an emergency referral system, outpatient services, nutritional support, paediatric inpatient care, obstetrics and gynaecology, and pharmacy and laboratory services.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières supported the hospital’s paediatric, TB and maternity departments, as well as a stabilisation unit for severely malnourished children and was involved in the set-up of an operating theatre run by the Ministry of Health, which provides emergency obstetric surgery.
  • A measles vaccination campaign was carried out in collaboration with local health authorities in March, reaching 4,300 children, and eight rounds of polio vaccinations were completed in Wardher and the surrounding area.
  • In September 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières handed over routine vaccinations, care for chronic conditions and triage to national health authorities.


Kala azar and malnutrition in Amhara

  • Médecins Sans Frontières continued its programme for patients with kala azar in Abdurafi, Amhara region, including those co-infected with HIV/AIDS or TB.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières also filled gaps in emergency services, provided inpatient care for children under five with malnutrition and transported patients to hospitals in Humera and Gondar.


Project closures

  • In Raad, Gambella region, an emergency project that started in July 2013 came to an end in January following the closure of the transit camp for South Sudanese refugees.
  • Another project providing assistance to refugees in the western region of Benishangul-Gumuz, also came to an end in May. 


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Médecins Sans Frontières has been working in the country since 1984 and at the end of 2014, Médecins Sans Frontières had 1,416 staff in Ethiopia.