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MA *

diagnosed with advanced HIV and CMV and was the first MSF patient to take valganciclovir.

If I had not [attended] the clinic in Dawei, I would probably be dead. For the CMV, the doctor said that when he looked into my eyes, he could see a lot of lesions in my retina through the lens. But after four months of treatment, that has improved. I have not felt any side effects and I am feeling better now. Before, it was not like that, and I had to lie down all the time. Now I can go everywhere by myself. I even got my vision back and can read the text messages on my mobile phone.

If I hadn’t got the treatment on time, I might have lost my vision within three months. I feel very lucky that I got the chance to take this oral treatment.

* Name has been changed

Gul Bibi *

brought her eight-month-old granddaughter to the MSF-supported hospital in Sadda for treatment. Gul Bibi and her family fled their village after militants took control and destroyed their homes and way of life. They now live in a camp for displaced people.

We lived in peace. We lived good lives … then three years ago everything changed. They came to the area and nothing was the same again … There was fear everywhere. We went from living in a happy and peaceful place where everyone knew everyone to not knowing whom we could trust or who was living among us … I still see our village burning when I close my eyes and try to sleep.

* Name has been changed

Hazem Abu Malouh


It's very hard because we have no news from patients who used to come regularly for care. Or we see patients that tell us terrible stories like this little girl of seven who has burns to her face, caused by an explosion. She came for treatment. But when I asked her where her father and mother were, she said they died. There is also this 32-year-old woman who was slightly injured by shrapnel and was pretty good physically. But she was very shaken by the loss of her four brothers. Two of them just got married and all died in recent weeks. We listen to patients, they need to talk but they do not understand what happened to them.

We really go through a lot of emotions. Sometimes incredible things happen also. A patient we follow up for a while is in a wheelchair … When I learned that the city of Shujahia where he lives was under heavy shelling and that everybody was fleeing, I wondered how he would do. How to escape in a wheelchair? And then one night I was watching television that showed refugee families in a school and I saw him on TV! He was alive. It was great.

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54-year-old heart patient

When I was admitted to the hospital for myocardial infarction [heart attack], I had an injection of a thrombolytic to restart my heart. But after being discharged, I still had pain. Then I was offered a new operation with [MSF] doctors who were coming soon. I accepted. The operation consisted of placing two stents. Since [the operation] I feel different, I can walk without any problem.


Afghan man

27 years old

I had to cross many countries to come here: first Iran, then Turkey and finally Bulgaria. The border between Iran and Afghanistan was the most dangerous … I was also detained for two and a half months in Bulgaria. I have been here [Subotica] for four days, and every day I try to cross the border [to Hungary] but so far I have not succeeded. Each time I fail I have no choice but to come back here, there is nowhere else to go. It is very cold and I can barely sleep at night.