ABUJA, NIGERIA/NEW YORK, APRIL 23, 2013—Three years after the international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) responded to an unprecedented outbreak of lead poisoning in Nigeria's Zamfara state, MSF is finally able to treat children in the badly affected village of Bagega now that a long-delayed program to remediate lead contamination is underway.
John Pringle is an epidemiologist and a member of MSF. On the same subject as a chapter he recently published in an MSF's book edited by Caroline Abu-Sada "Dilemmas, Challenges, and Ethics of Humanitarian Action: Reflections on Médecins Sans Frontières' Perception Project", he wrote the following piece. In it, he suggests that MSF, when tackling economy-generated environmental disasters, should not hesitate to question the ‘forces that deny our patients the societal determinants of health'.
Abuja/London, Friday 11 May 2012 – At an international conference in response to a lead poisoning crisis (1) in Zamfara, Nigeria, delegates endorsed a clear action plan and called for a commitment by the Nigerian government to resolve the crisis. Organised chiefly by Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF), the conference and its delegates called on the Nigerian government to release without further delay a sum of 850 million Naira (US$ 5.4 million) that was promised months ago for environmental cleanup and safer mining.