MdM reacts quickly and effectively to crises and conflicts, which dramatically disrupt health systems. We have deployed medical teams all over the world to deal with the consequences of wars, natural disasters, and epidemics, taking all measures necessary to support the existing health systems to remain open through the crisis.
In the aftermath of a disaster, we seek ways to rebuild and improve infrastructure in a way that will make a lasting impact on the community. We support local partners to restore health systems that are accessible to all, sustainable, and better able to cope with future impact.
MdM promotes sexual and reproductive health rights across the world, particularly in places where access to family planning, contraception and abortion is restricted or non-existent, and where LGBTI communities are excluded from mainstream healthcare. We believe abortion is a fundamental right and an important foundation of gender equality.
We are also working to reduce infant and maternal mortality rates. Every day hundreds of women and their babies die due to complications in pregnancy and childbirth. Most could have been prevented.
We work with local organisations and experts to find sustainable solutions to these problems, and design interventions that overcome barriers to sexual health services, which often involve direct political and legal action. It’s not always easy, especially in countries like Pakistan, where family planning is viewed with suspicion and abortion is largely illegal, or the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where girls and women have had their basic sexual and reproductive rights violated for so long that it has become endemic. But we don’t shy away from these challenges and we are prepared to do whatever it takes to make positive changes.
MdM helps those who are vulnerable due to high-risk behaviours, such as drug use and sex work, which lead to diseases such as HIV and AIDS or hepatitis C. Sex workers, drug users and LGBTI people, especially in countries where homosexuality is illegal, tend to be excluded from mainstream health services either because of neglect or deliberate ostracism, leading to high levels of infection and general poor health.
Our harm reduction strategy involves non-judgemental treatment, which accepts our users’ lifestyle choices, as well as advocacy and campaigning to change social attitudes and combat the stigma that can exclude people from mainstream healthcare.
The global refugee crisis presents an enormous challenge for healthcare provision, and supporting vulnerable refugees and migrants is at the heart of our work. We believe migrants should have access to high-quality healthcare at every stage of their journey, regardless of their nationality, immigration status or reason for leaving their country.
Healthcare facilities for the hundreds of thousands of people in refugee camps, in communities and on the move are often inadequate. Mental distress among migrants is particularly common due to the trauma of fleeing war, violence, and persecution, which is then further exacerbated by the stress of the journey.
We empower migrants to access health services, recommend health systems to be more flexible and inclusive, and to educate health professionals about how to engage effectively with migrant communities.
A holistic approach to health and its determinants should take environmental issues into account, the environment being a factor of health and social inequalities.
When the causes of harmful living and working environment are known, the actions of MdM focus on reducing their health impact at a local level, i.e. within a limited geographical area. The populations targeted by MdM’s actions are those traditionally supported by our organisation: the victims of poverty, stigmatisation or discrimination.
MdM – International Chapters