Category: International

Surgery by head-torch: life as a doctor in South Sudan

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Red Cross volunteers carry person on stretcher

Renewed violence in South Sudan has begun a fresh cycle of displacement for thousands of people.

Since December 2013, more than two million people have fled their homes. You can help them by making a donation to our appeal today.

Earlier this month, armed confrontations in the capital, Juba, forced many organisations to suspend their work.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) provides protection and assistance to victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence around the world. It is often the part of International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement which is first on the scene when fighting breaks out.

So it was for Colin Berry, an anaesthetist from Exeter who works with the Red Cross. Colin is recently back from a mission to the town of Raja in the north west of the country. Shooting and looting in Raja has recently injured many people and sent scores into the bush to hide.

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Yellow fever: a quiet crisis in Angola

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In the highly populated Viana municipality, 54 Red Cross volunteers are using mobilisation techniques to inform people about the Yellow Fever.

Since December a quiet crisis has been rumbling in Angola.

A crisis that is now threatening to get out of control.

What started out in pockets of the capital, Luanda, has now spread to large swathes of the country.

Angola’s neighbour to the north – the Democratic Republic of the Congo – has recently declared an epidemic in three provinces.

There are now real fears it could spread still further.

What is this crisis caused by?

A virus prevented by a single inoculation.

Yellow fever.

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AIDS today: therapy brings hope

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World-AIDS-day-6

When you look at the facts surrounding the global AIDS epidemic, there seem to be many reasons for hope.

More people have access to antiretroviral therapy, which slows the reproduction of the virus and enables those with HIV to lead normal lives.

  • In 2015, 17 million people living with HIV were undergoing antiretroviral therapy, up from 15 million in 2014.
  • 49 per cent of children living with HIV had access to treatment in 2015, up from 21 per cent in 2010.

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Speaking for those who cannot: supporting survivors of sexual violence

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Three women stand with their backs to the viewer on dusty ground in Africa with only their long skirts and feet showing

“When I went to Pascaline’s parents to ask for her hand, they agreed even though I only had half the dowry. When we got married, we were in love.”

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Jacques still speaks about his wife Pascaline with love.

“Years went by, we had children, and we were still happy together,” he continues.

Then Pascaline was raped by armed men at the side of the road. They stole everything she had.

“I felt like dying. I never imagined this would happen,” she said

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A hug, a smile and Elmo: helping children in Fiji

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A girl in Fiji smiles as she gets a hug from an Elmo puppet almost as big as she is

What does Elmo have to do with cyclones in Fiji?

More than you might guess.

On 20 and 21 February, Tropical Cyclone Winston smashed into Fiji with winds of up to 325 kilometres an hour.

Approximately 350,000 people were affected. Around 120,000 of them were children.

When it was over, 28,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Some families lost everything.

Thousands of children now go to school in tents because their school buildings are no longer standing.

Some children were so terrified by the cyclone that they are still scared of any rain.

They may even start to run in panic – across roads, into rivers – to escape.

This is where Elmo and his friends can help.

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Refugees arrive in Italy to uncertain futures

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refugees arrive in italy

The port looks almost festive as the evening settles in. The last rays of the setting sun reflect off a shimmering mass of silver and gold.

Yet this is anything but a festive occasion.

The silver and gold reflections are from emergency blankets. They are wrapped around the shoulders of people who, only hours ago, were bobbing in small boats on the surface of the Mediterranean.

These people have travelled over what is currently the deadliest known route in the world for migrants making a bid for safety: the journey from Libya to Italy by sea.

So far, 2,521 people have died this year attempting the crossing.

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A holiday far from home: Eid al-Fitr on Iraq’s front lines

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A mother holds a young child while people walk behind them in a desert landscape

On 6 and 7 July, around a billion people – approximately a seventh of the world’s population – are celebrating Eid al-Fitr.

Celebrations will take place across the world – from the UK to Russia, India and beyond. Marking the end of Ramadan, the holiday celebrates the power of family and community.

People may also give thanks for having the strength to endure difficulties in their lives.

But this year, unprecedented numbers of families are far from home on Eid al-Fitr.

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