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Enfants dans un centre de rétention. Libye, septembre 2018. © Sara Creta/MSF

A year in pictures 2018

A picture is worth a thousand words.

    Our teams continued to provide life-saving and life-changing medical care in over 70 countries around the world in 2018.

    Photojournalists and staff photographers were there beside them – bearing witness to and capturing the work of our dedicated teams, and the stories of the individuals and communities they assist.

    Whether caught in or fleeing conflict and violence, affected by disease or epidemics, or hit by natural disasters, our patients each have their own unique story to tell. Stories of suffering and vulnerability, bravery and resilience. These pictures of the year (taken between November 2017 and December 2018) showcase a select few.

    1 | Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    July 2018 - Rohingya refugees queue for a food distribution in Shofiullah Kata Camp, in the Moynargona area of Cox’s Bazar. 

    2 | Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    April 2018 - Halima and her mother wait in the rain for a distribution of food in Jatmoli makeshift settlement. 

    3 | Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

    April 2018 - Rozia and her two-month-old son Zubair in the MSF hospital in Goyalmara. Many of the children admitted to the hospital have contracted infections from unhygienic birthing practises, and the unsanitary living conditions in the camp during their first days of life. 

    4 | Kier, South Sudan

    December 2017 - Young women gathered in a disused health facility that lies in ruins, waiting to see the medical officer from MSF’s mobile clinic. 

    5 | Old Fangak, South Sudan

    December 2017 - A pharmacist gives a young patient his prescription through a small window cut into the tarpaulin facade of the hospital pharmacy.

    6 | Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo

    November 2018 - A health worker checks his personal protective equipment before entering the red zone of the MSF-supported Ebola treatment centre to check on the patients there. 

    7 | Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo

    November 2018 - Health workers hug each other as they get into their personal protective equipment, ready to enter the red zone of the newly built Ebola treatment centre.

    8 | Bunia, Democratic Republic of Congo

    November 2018 - A health worker waits to receive a new suspected Ebola patient at the newly built Ebola treatment centre.

    9 | Magaria, Niger

    September 2018 - The team in the stabilisation room administer an intravenous catheter.

    10 | Diffa, Niger

    August 2018 - 14-year-old Mohammed and his siblings were kidnapped by an armed group in northern Nigeria and spent several months in captivity before fleeing and being reunited with at least part of their family. Having witnessed several murders, Mohammed started receiving support through MSF’s mental healthcare project in Diffa, Niger.

    11 | Iraq

    October 2018 - Rasmiyya, 63, who raised seven sons and four daughters, now lives alone in Amriyat al-Falluja camp for internally displaced people. Rasmiyya’s story reflects the multiple layers of violence and loss that many in Iraq have suffered over recent years. She lost four of her seven sons in the bombing of their home city, Falluja, in 2004. Another of her sons has been jailed since 2006, accused of collaborating with militants, and yet another has been taken by a group of armed men and not been heard from since. Her daughters and other son live in Baghdad, but the checkpoints surrounding the camp prevent her from leaving to see them.

    12 | East Mosul, Iraq

    May 2018 - Nashwan, 42, is prepared for surgery at MSF’s post-operative care facility. He is one of the many war-wounded patients still trying to recover a year after the conflict in Mosul officially ended.

    13 | Mosul, Iraq

    April 2018 - Mosul’s old town, which experienced intense shelling, aerial bombing and attacks with improvised explosive devices (IEDs) during the battle to retake the city from the Islamic State group in 2016/17. The destruction and the presence of IEDs, unexploded ordinance and booby traps mean that much of the old city remains inaccessible. Nevertheless, between 5,000 and 7,000 people have returned to their homes, in many cases damaged and without water or electricity.

    14 | Saada governorate, Yemen

    March 2018 - Children from Haydan pose at the entrance to their home, which was bombed during the battle for Saada between 2004 and 2010.

    15 | Khamer, Yemen

    March 2018 - MSF physiotherapist Elizabeth carries out physiotherapy on a young patient in surgery to reduce their pain.

    16 | Aden, Yemen

    December 2017 - 10-year-old Aya lost her leg after an armed group threw a bomb at her family’s home. “I always feel enthusiastic when my mom tells me we’re going to the physio session. I’m stronger than I was after the surgery. I go to the mini market by myself and I play in front of the house,” Aya says.

    17 | Amriyat al-Falluja camp, Iraq

    October 2018 - 13-year-old Haussian and his family, from Falluja, have lived in a tent for the past three years. Asked what he wants to be when he grows up, he replies: “If I stay alive, I want to be a doctor.”

    18 | Mediterranean Sea

    September 2018 - After a long, complicated search and rescue operation, and negotiations with the Libyan coastguard, the Aquarius has safely brought 47 people on board, including 17 minors and one pregnant woman, rescued from a wooden boat in distress in international waters.

    19 | Mediterranean Sea

    January 2018 - In a nightmarish day on the Mediterranean, 99 survivors from a sinking rubber boat were rescued by the Aquarius, but an unknown number of men, women and children remained missing, presumed drowned. Two women are confirmed dead.

    20 | Mediterranean Sea

    January 2018 - MSF nurse Aiofe Ni Mhurchu gives anti-sea-sickness pills to one of the 27 people were rescued at sea by a supply boat nearby an oil platform north Sabratah, 55 nautical miles from the Libyan coast. From Sudan, Somalia, Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal and Nigeria, they were on a small wooden boat and spent a long time in Libaa, some of them in Osama detention centre in Zouarah.

    21 | Lesbos, Greece

    May 2018 - Thousands of life jackets left behind by arriving migrants, gathered at a dump on Lesbos Island.

    22 | Lesbos, Greece

    July 2018 - Children gathered around a fire in Moria camp. Thousands of people seeking safety from countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan, and Congo continue to risk their lives to reach Europe. Those who try to arrive via Turkey and the Aegean Sea have been trapped for an indefinite period of time on islands in Greece as part of the EU/Turkey deal and its deterrence and containment approach.

    23 | Chios, Greece

    October 2018 - A young child living in VIAL refugee camp waits for vaccinations.

    24 | Bekaa Valley, Lebanon

    January 2018 - Amara, the youngest of 10 children, has suffered from chest and breathing problems since birth. She was admitted to the MSF-run paediatric ward in Elias Haraoui Governmental Hospital in Zahle, where she stayed for 10 days. The family live in a refugee settlement, and two of Amara’s siblings suffer from physical disabilities that also require treatment.

    25 | Rome, Italy

    November 2017 - A group of women, Italians and refugees and migrants, most from Nigeria, have set up a theatre workshop in a primary school. Their play is based on the story of one of the workshop participants, Patience, who arrived in Italy in 2012 after nearly losing her life and her baby crossing the Mediterranean Sea.

    26 | Minsk, Belarus

    August 2018 - Alyona and Vadim on their way back home from TB Dispensary 2, where they are both outpatients. "A year ago, we were both in hospital; now we live together and we earn our living. That's why you should not give up on your treatment,” Vadim says.

    27 | Guerrero, Mexico

    February 2018 - A woman displaced by violence sews a sunshade using donated clothes in Apaxtla de Castrejón city, Guerrero state.

    28 | Mexico

    February 2018 - A man rests at MSF's La 72 shelter in Mexico. Many of the migrants arrive with sores and wounds on their feet after days on the road.

    29 | Port-au-Prince, Haiti

    February 2018 - Shnider Avril, who was severely burned by an explosion from a propane tank, receives care at the MSF Drouillard hospital for burns patients.

    30 | Paoua, Central African Republic

    December 2017 - Leonard, a 33-year-old farmer, is treated at Paoua hospital. He says he was shot in the head while armed men were trying to steal his oxen. The day before the attack he had fled Betoko with relatives after the town had been attacked by an armed group. 

    31 | Paoua, Central African Republic

    December 2017 - Nicsonne, 13, is treated at Paoua hospital after being bitten by a snake while working in the fields in his village, two hours away by motorbike. Snakebite envenoming permanently disables hundreds of thousands of people and kills more than 100,000 each year all across the globe – more than any other neglected tropical disease – even though highly effective treatments exist.

    32 | Gaza, Palestine

    May 2018 - A wounded man is evacuated during protests during which the Israeli army targeted unarmed civilians.

    33 | Gaza, Palestine

    June 2018 - Palestinians wounded by Israeli live ammunition arrive for post-operative care at the MSF clinic. 

    34 | Ansongo, Mali

    December 2017 - Mahamadou Agaïri, 40, wears his two-day-old baby 'kangaroo' style - an unprecedented gesture in a place where men don't normally carry babies - while his wife recovers from an obstetric operation she underwent during the delivery at the MSF-supported hospital.

    35 | Kasai Central, Democratic Republic of Congo

    March 2018 - Mama Kawala and her two children, who just had a check-up at the local therapeutic nutritional centre in Lwemba.

    36 | Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo

    March 2018 - Bawma Yoame, 56, recovers in a hospital room in Bunia, after an attack on his village left him severely wounded with multiple lacerations to the head.

    37 | Mauritania

    August 2018 - Sand fills the air as a thunderstorm blows into Bassikounou in the Hodh ech Chargui region of Mauritania - the staging point for MSF operations in the Mbera refugee camp and the surrounding area.

    38 | Borno state, Nigeria

    January 2018 - An internally displaced persons camp in Monguno.

    39 | Kier, South Sudan

    December 2017 - Nurse and midwife Furaha Bazikanya examines a young pregnant woman in one of the two consultation spaces at a mobile clinic in the village.

    40 | Zhytomyr, Ukraine

    October 2018 - Olena Markova, an MSF nurse, explains to Lidiia Andriienko, 78, how to take the hearing test at the Zhytomyr Regional TB Dispensary. Certain drugs used in TB treatment can cause severe side-effects, including hearing loss.

    41 | Zhytomyr, Ukraine

    October 2018 - Mykola, 31, a patient with multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB), in the common area of the Zhytomyr Regional TB Dispensary. In 2018, MSF started providing treatment for drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR-TB) to patients in Zhytomyr Oblast, in partnership with the Zhytomyr Regional TB Dispensary. Zhytomyr region has one of the highest rates of TB in Ukraine.

    42 | Bihać, Bosnia-Herzegovina

    July 2018 - Local Red Cross volunteers are now providing some meals to people sheltering in and around the squat at Bihać, Bosnia-Herzegovina, close to the border with Croatia.

    43 | Sebagoro, Uganda

    March 2018 - Sanitation workers spray the hands and feet of Congolese refugees arriving on the shores of Lake Albert, in a region where cholera is endemic. Approximately 60,000 refugees arrived in Uganda on boat between December 2017 and March 2018, fleeing the conflict in their home province of Ituri, Democratic Republic of Congo. 

    44 | Central African Republic

    January 2018 - Colette, a 14-year-old victim of sexual violence, at Castors Hospital. She was raped by her uncle and is receiving medical and psychological treatment offered by MSF.

    45 | Libya

    September 2018 - A woman in a detention centre: “We were abandoned at sea. People lost hope. Why did we let people die at sea? We are not criminals”.

    46 | Amman, Jordan

    January 2018 - An MSF staff member helps a young patient affected by a congenital disease try out a new 3D prosthesis, thanks to which the girl was able to paint her own nails.

    Header photo: Children in a detention centre in Libya, September 2018. © Sara Creta/MSF