MSF’s work is primarily medical in nature and involves relief efforts for people in need. In many countries, health care systems are not functioning, whether because of war, natural or man-made disasters - or simply because of a lack of financial or logistic resources.
One of MSF's main goals, therefore, is to ensure that all people have access to basic health care. However, medical assistance encompasses more than basic care.
In the event of an acute crisis, other relief activities are sometimes needed in addition to medical care, such as water supply, food distribution, construction of emergency shelters or sanitation.
The medical field of activity includes mainly primary health care, but also surgery and the treatment of certain diseases that have a serious impact on public health. These include, for example, tuberculosis, especially its multi-resistant forms, but also the implementation of large-scale vaccination campaigns against measles, cholera, or diphtheria.
Thanks to significant technical resources, vast experience and ongoing presence in the field, MSF today also plays an important role in the research and development of drugs and vaccines for neglected diseases.
To ensure quality medical care even after crisis situations have been overcome, MSF has also specialized in areas such as the renovation and construction of health care facilities, medical education, and health care promotion.