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MFS ad highlights ‘tough decisions’

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Doctors Without Borders (MFS) has launched a bold and offbeat new TV advert, detailing the tough decisions faced by medical personnel in conflict hit areas. The advert forms part of MFS’s new #ToughDecisions campaign, in which they look to provide an inside into the daily challenges faced by medics. It aims to mobilize South African’s into contributing towards the NGO’s operations in various countries across the globe.

The advert sketches the scenario of a woman whose two children are in critical condition, having been caught in a suicide bombing. With only one operating theatre and one surgeon available, a doctor is tasked with deciding which of the children to help. The ad then takes a surprising twist, before fading to a tweet from the Hastag #ToughDecisions.

According to MFS fieldworker and Southern Africa board member, Dr Mohammed Dalwai, the campaign was aimed at stimulating conversation amongst South Africans, and provoking their understanding of what a ‘tough decision’ was.

“It’s to kind of put into context the decisions that we have to make every day in the field, and to really raise awareness to the kind of decisions we make. It is also to highlight MFS and the work we do in the field,” he explained.

He acknowledged that working as a doctor for the MFS was particular tough occupation. Despite the rigorous nature of the job however, he stressed that the experience was extremely rewarding.

“You are not going over there and saving people’s lives every day. But it is truly rewarding, and sometimes it’s the simple things that really make it worthwhile,” he said.

The MFS have been notably active in West Africa in recent weeks, trying to contain a deadly outbreak of the Ebola virus. They are one of just a few international NGO’s currently doing ground work in the region. Dalwai noted the extent of their work was so enormous that their treatment centers were packed to capacity, and they were now being forced to turn patients away.

“How do you decide as a healthcare worker who to turn away and who to admit? Especially knowing that if you admit them and you are full, you stand a greater chance of infecting the healthcare workers,” he said.

Due to the highly infectious nature of Ebola, a number of MFS staff have contracted, and subsequently died as a result of the disease. Despite the organizations strict protocol and policies for infection control, he acknowledged that there was always a risk involved for field workers.

Dalwai was hopeful the campaign would motivate South Africans to donate towards the cause, as any contribution would greatly help in funding the MFS’s operations.

Anyone looking to contribute towards Doctors Without Borders, can visit the website You can also join via sms, by sending the word ‘join’ to 41486. Donations will take place in the form of a R15 monthly subscription. VOC (Mubeen Banderker)

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