MSF medical guidelines

MSF's latest medical guidelines provide practical recommendations for health professionals

  • Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has published the latest edition of our its main medical guidelines 'Clinical guidelines' and 'Essential drugs'.
  • Both guidelines are available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish for use in MSF projects and beyond.
  • They are available in both printed and digital versions, with the digital version accessible via both the MSF medical guidelines website and a mobile application.

MSF medical guidelines provide practical recommendations and standardised protocols for use in resource-limited settings. They reflect the know-how gained through MSF’s medical activities and operations. The guidelines draw from scientific data published by the World Health Organization and other leading medical institutions, as well as published, peer-reviewed scientific literature.

The Clinical guidelines handbook provides key diagnostic and treatment information for medical staff involved in curative care and, to a lesser extent, the preventive aspects of the common diseases encountered in health centres and primary hospitals. The Essential drugs guide is a practical manual for physicians, pharmacists, nurses and health auxiliaries involved in curative care and drug management.

The first editions date back to the 1980s

The first MSF guidelines were developed in the 1980s to respond to a need for coherence and consistency in the care provided in MSF projects. Over the years, they have been regularly reviewed, improved and updated in line with new evidence. The 2023 printed editions contain all the updates published online since the last printed version in 2019.

Floodings: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa E-Response
A medical doctor is examining a child at the MSF mobile clinic in the village of Miaonlay (Charsadda) in Pakistan. MSF medical guidelines are distributed and used in projects around the world including Pakistan.
Zahra Shoukat/MSF

MSF guidelines are distributed around the world

MSF international medical guidelines are used by tens of thousands of health professionals around the world and not only in MSF projects. They are part of the World Health Organization’s emergency health kits, which are distributed in crisis settings of displaced people. In addition, more than 600,000 people from around the world consult the online versions of the guidelines each month. 

There are more international guidelines available to the public on the website and the app. They cover topics such as obstetric and newborn care, management of cholera and measles outbreaks, tuberculosis treatment and public health engineering.

We need feedback

Receiving feedback from readers is crucial to improving MSF guidelines. All medical professionals are encouraged to submit comments, accompanied by references and proposals, through the Contact form on the MSF Medical Guidelines website or app.

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