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South Africa: "A medicine a doctor can't prescribe"

10 Oct 22 | 17 Oct 22

South Africa: "A medicine a doctor can't prescribe"

Back in May, severe flooding devastated communities in Durban, South Africa.

Families who lost their homes were forced to take shelter in community halls and churches. In the aftermath, many faced uncertainty and severe strains on their mental health.

As part of an ongoing psychological support programme, staff from Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) began using the power of music to help 'destress' shelter residents.

This video tells the story of how one MSF driver from KwaZulu-Natal – who also happens to be a skilled keyboard player – partnered with a self-taught opera singer from one of the worst-affected areas to bring positivity to people in need.

MSF and mental health

The psychological impact of a humanitarian emergency can be severe.

Our teams provide emergency medical aid in catastrophes all over the world — armed conflicts, natural disasters, famines and epidemics. However, for people who have lived through these traumatic events, survival goes beyond ensuring physical wellbeing.

Worldwide, around one in four people will suffer from a mental health problem during their lifetime, yet roughly 60 percent will not seek help.