Interview with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders)

Interview with MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders)

Many running events have been cancelled since the pandemic has started.

This is a very upsetting situation for many of us and we are glad that all of you have been understanding of this unique situation and keeping up the motivation to run and train.

Due to the circumstances, we have started the World’s Marathons Virtual Series to offer the opportunity to run together virtually so that you can stay motivated for running and get the feeling of the running community while keeping the social distances.

From the very first edition which launched in April, the 555 Virtual Run, World's Marathons have been donating all the profit made in this virtual run series to MSF (Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders).

MSF is a non-profit organization and they bring medical care to the most vulnerable communities around the world and have ramped up efforts to support the victims of the recent pandemic, for example in densely populated refugee camps.

Unaccompanied minors camp in Paris
photographer:Nicolas Guyonnet

Recently, we had a great opportunity to have a short interview with Antonia Danielsson, who works with Corporate Gifts at MSF Sweden, to get to know about their activities and share their voice to more people. 

What is the situation of the pandemic from MSF perspective? What are their challenges? How does the donation help their activities and what else can we do to support them?

Antonia answered those questions and gave runners a message at the end. 

Keep on reading!



From MSF view: How is the situation of the pandemic around the world and especially in developing countries?


We see how this new coronavirus has crippled some of the most advanced health systems in the world. This has happened in countries with a social safety net, where most people have access to running water and the space to self-isolate. Our greatest concern is for when the virus takes hold in places with more fragile health systems and no, or limited, basic safety net. We have projects in over 70 countries around the world and in all of these we are building preparedness for handling the coronavirus or responding directly to the outbreak.


What are the challenges that you are facing at the moment?


During the pandemic, babies will still be born, people will still need treatment for diseases like HIV and TB. Maintaining access to healthcare for non-COVID-19 needs is essential, including in MSF regular projects, is one of our largest challenges at the moment.

Our COVID-19 response is as far as possible aimed at supporting authorities to provide care for COVID-19 patients. Furthermore, our focus is on protecting people who are vulnerable and at risk. Of particular concern is how coronavirus COVID-19 might affect people in precarious environments, such as the homeless, refugees, or conflict-affected populations. These people live under harsh, often unhygienic and overcrowded conditions, where their access to healthcare is already compromised. We also must protect those most at risk of severe forms of the illness. With COVID-19, that largely means the elderly, so much of our COVID-19 response focuses on strengthening the infection control measures and protection of the elderly in nursing homes. It also concerns those who have another illness, such as diabetes, HIV or tuberculosis.

MSF COVID-19 Response in Lebanon
photographer: Diego Ibarra Sánchez

How are donations helping you to fight against COVID-19?


Due to the increased needs we see in connection to the pandemic we have had to significantly increase our budget and every donation is valuable to us. The donation for our work with COVID-19 will help us in our mission to protect vulnerable societies and groups. We have opened new projects in pandemic hotspots, working directly with COVID-19 patients. In both our new and already existing projects our teams are building preparedness, ensuring infection prevention and control measures are in place, setting up screening at triage zones, creating isolation areas, and providing health education to local staff and people.

assisting vulnerable groups in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
photographer: Mariana Abdalla/MSF

Besides donations, what else can we do to support your activities? 


You can spread the word about our work and encourage your friends and family to support us. You can also start your own fundraiser for us – some of our supporters have fundraised for us in very special ways, for example, during the lockdown in Barcelona one supporter started a fundraiser for us running marathons on his balcony.

Please give a message to the runners who joined or are thinking about joining the World's Marathons virtual run series to support your activities.


Thank you for being a part of our fight against COVID-19! We are dependent on private donations to ensure life-saving medical assistance to people all around the world and in these difficult times more than ever. Thank you for being with us!



Thank you very much Antonia for joining our interview and sharing the insights with us!


By hosting a virtual running event every month, World's Marathons is aiming to raise 10.000 EUR donation to MSF.


Together with the last 4 editions of our virtual run series, we have already raised 4746EUR.
Let's keep on running and support MSF!

The next Virtual Run edition, the 888 Virtual Run is coming up.


Sign up and let others know that they have the chance to be part of this movement!  Spread the word and increase awareness!