In the volatile settings where it works, MSF often witnesses and responds to massive displacement of communities and patients fleeing from conflict. During these evacuations, people have no access to healthcare for weeks, while on the move, in the bush and under extreme insecurity.
The Displacement Unit proposed to the South Sudan mission the use of a bag for medical staff as a contingency plan for sudden displacements and evacuation scenarios - a solution to bridge the gap of access to healthcare until the mission resumes its activities. The development of contents and requirements of the solution was iterated together with the medical teams in the field. After the first use of 29 bags, the team collected feedback from its users and further improved the bag’s contents.
The runaway bag is a concept with several variations and used in different contexts in MSF (e.g. community health promotion, outreach, TB/HIV patient, etc). In South Sudan, is part of the contingency stock in case of a total evacuation. It is a simple backback, custom-made to include an insulated area for temperature sensitive medication. The medical content inside was defined to address common morbidities of a population on the move in harsh environments. The bag is meant to be used by trained clinical officers, MSF national staff, who choose to flee and stay with their community and are now enabled to care for approximately 10-20 people. Contents of the medical runaway bag includes e.g. artesunate for malaria, amoxicillin for respiratory tract infections, paracetamol for body pain, a dressing kit for wounds, amongst many others.