25 Nov 2014

Other Volunteer Options – Doctors Without Borders

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Doctors Helping With Ebola.

Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières) is a humanitarian organization originally started in France. MSF does most of their work in warring regions and regions that are confronting serious diseases like the Ebola Virus. Dr. Lopa Gupta along with her husband and two children visit India each year and have found the work to be very gratifying. The Sadilka Foundation is not affiliated with Doctors Without Borders.

Now an international organization headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, various governmental and corporate donations provide about 20% of the organizations yearly budget of 400 million dollars. Although an international organization, MSF does not align himself with any state, religious, or political organizations. This allows them to operate on their own without any bias.

The organization is comprised of doctors, nurses, logistical experts, engineers, and other medical professionals. These doctors and nurses volunteer their time because they believe in the mission of MSF; that everyone has the right to medical attention regardless of where they live, what religion they practice, or what politics they adhere to. MSF believes the needs of the people outweigh the need for these affiliations.

The organization was started in 1971 after the Nigerian Civil War, in which doctors from France volunteered for the Red Cross to help the Biafrans that were at war with Nigeria. These doctors were attacked by the Nigerian army since they were assisting the enemy. After this experience some of those volunteers decided an apolitical organization was necessary to be able to help everyone.

This humanitarian work does not come without risks. Much like the Peace Corps and other organizations that try to help third world countries. Injuries are sustained and deaths can occur as a result of various threats. War zones are replete with stray bullets and mines, aid workers are often seen as they enemy by occupying forces or even from within the tribe. Some doctors even contract the disease they are trying to help eradicate. Just two weeks ago a doctor was cured of Ebola in New York. He had contracted the virus  in Africa where he had gone to help treat and educate people about Ebola.

In 1999, MSF received the Nobel Peace Prize, a much deserved honor.

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Dr. Lopa Y. Gupta is a highly specialized eyelid microsurgeon with impeccable credentials.
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