Doctors on the Front Line - 4x22’ - English

January 2006

What motivates the healthcare professionals of Médecins sans Frontières to go to the most dangerous places in the world? We are given unique access as MSF personnel struggle to provide assistance in Haiti, Honduras, Somalia and Sudan.

Episode 1: Haiti
MSF operates a trauma centre, St. Joseph’s Hospital, in Port-au-Prince, since December 2004. A third of its patients are treated for gunshot wounds. Knife wounds are the second most common category.

Episode 2: Honduras
The capital of Honduras, Tegucigalpa, is like an undeclared war zone. There is an average of 16 assassinations every day. Despite the presidential elections of 2002, the military are still very much in charge. The country is little changed from the “heyday” of Central America’s banana republic days. There has been a growth in organised crime, fuelled by drug trafficking. As ever, it is the children who are the frontline victims of this failing state. Young teenagers are inducted into the gangs and girls into prostitution in order to survive. A year ago, MSF set up a medical and counselling centre for 400 children. While we were filming, one of the girls receiving counselling was murdered on the streets.

Episode 3: Somalia
Somalia is the only country that has no government in residence. It is too dangerous for the Kenya-based government to return. Fourteen years of civil war and anarchy have led to the deaths of two million people. Three quarters of the population has no access to even the most rudimentary health care.

Episode 4: Sudan
Peace in the south of Sudan has brought few benefits so far. Civil conflict has been a barrier to development, including the provision of the most basic services. In this forbidding environment MSF operates a small hospital in Marial Lou that must cater for the needs of 300,000 people.


  • Continent(s):
    Central America /
  • Topic(s):
    Conflict / Education / Health / Humanitarian /
  • Audio:
  • Duration:
  • Location(s):
    Honduras, Somalia, Sudan, Haiti