Medical care for Rio’s poor

The World

This neighborhood made headlines last summer when a battle between police and a gang resulted in the deaths of 19 residents in a single day, with some victims being children. City officials say they might’ve survived if they had access to medical care in their community. This young man works at this clinic in the center of the neighborhood. It was established by Doctors Without Borders or MSF shortly after that fight. Caring for victims of urban violence is new territory for MSF, as this official says. Since the clinic opened, the waiting rooms have been full. Other hospitals also have fear for treating residents because of gang involvement. This young man came to the clinic to get a gunshot wound cleaned, and he says at the city hospital he didn’t get cared for. The policy at the MSF clinic is to provide help for anyone who comes without asking. There’s also mental health care for residents dealing with depression or anxiety related to the violence in the neighborhood. MSF plans to operate the clinic for three years and after that the Rio city government has agreed to keep it running.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.