How we work

MSF works with both national and international staff in over 65 countries around the world. It is not only doctors who work with MSF. Nurses, midwives, epidemiologists, laboratory technicians, logistics experts, sanitation specialists, administrators, financial managers, drivers and many others are also essential to the organisation’s work.

All of these people bring professional abilities, practical experience as well as a commitment to, and concern for, the people they help. 90% of MSF’s staff worldwide are recruited locally, in the countries where MSF works. The remaining 10% are international staff. The combination of local and international expertise enables MSF to deliver effective medical care to people who need it the most. There are, however, a small number of places where it is difficult for international staff to work. In such contexts, our programmes continue to run thanks to our dedicated national staff, closely supported by remote management teams.

MSF staff work at the forefront of emergency medical care for populations in need. As well as providing primary healthcare for people suffering from endemic diseases and neglect, MSF also performs surgery, rehabilitates hospitals and clinics, runs nutrition and sanitation programmes, trains local medical personnel and provides mental health care.

MSF strives to provide the best medical care possible. In order to achieve this, we require open access to people in need, in order to assess the situation and provide the necessary assistance. We rely on good community relations and mutually respectful relationships with all key parties in an area to safeguard our independent medical activities – including medical staff, structures and supplies. In order to be certain that MSF’s assistance is provided to those who need it most, MSF insists on being directly involved in the supervision and management of our medical programmes. Therefore, we don’t work through partner organisations.