Crisis Clinic


This is part two of an ongoing assignment for Médecins Sans Frontières on the migration of refugees from impoverished Zimbabwe into South Africa. Photos Copyright ©2009 Austin Andrews / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). Not to be reprinted or reproduced without permission.


Since opening their Johannesburg operations in December 2007, MSF has operated a medical clinic at the Central Methodist Church, a downtown transit camp for over 5000 Zimbabwean refugees fleeing turmoil in their home country.

In its first three months of operations the clinic saw nearly 2895 cases and made 294 clinical referrals for HIV, TB, and other chronic diseases.

Story of a passerby.

The longbench queue.

Contagious or severe cases go to the isolation ward. Since opening the clinic has seen five cases of cholera, a disease that has infected over 87000 Zimbabweans in recent months and killed over 4000.

“You won’t feel it, barely.”

Post-test paperwork.

An MSF counsellor prepares a patient for the prick of an HIV blood test.

The nurse administers the blood test.

Awaiting results.

The test came back negative for HIV.

Triage nurse.

Doctor’s office.

Stomach cramps.

The scene out front of the Central Methodist Church.


Part three, a late-night visit to a refugee camp outside the Department of Home Affairs, will be posted here tomorrow.



Austin Andrews is a Vancouver-based photojournalist and occasional filmmaker with a penchant for finding the fantastic in the everyday. Contact him at austin [at] disposablewords [dot] net

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *