With the publication of the new book The Politics of Fear: Médecins Sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic, MSF provides a deeper reflection around the response to the outbreak in 2014-2015. What was the motivation for some of the response decisions? Were there effective medical advances that emerged from the intervention? What lessons did MSF take away from the largest mobilization in the organization’s history? What are the lingering needs in the countries whose health infrastructures were severely compromised by the outbreak? And is the world ready for the next outbreak of Ebola or other infectious diseases?
Join us as a panel of MSF experts, all of whom were part the Ebola response in West Africa, as they discuss what this reflection means for the organization’s emergency medical activities going forward. They will also share information on the post-Ebola medical needs in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, and how MSF is addressing them.
Audience Q&A available during the event via chat.
Armand Sprecher, MD, MPH is an emergency physician and epidemiologist who has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) since 1997. He received his Medical Doctorate from Thomas Jefferson University and holds a Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University, and a Bachelor of Arts in Cognitive Science from Brown University. He has been involved with filovirus outbreak response since 2000, including working in the field during the outbreaks in Uganda (2000), Angola (2005), the Democratic Republic of the Congo (2007), and the outbreak in West Africa (2014-15). Between outbreaks, aside from filovirus disease issues, Armand works mostly on health informatics. Armand has also worked with the International Medical Corps and the CDC's Epidemic Intelligence Service.
Patricia Carrick is a family nurse practitioner who has worked intermittently with MSF since 2001. She has been on five assignments in Sierra Leone, South Sudan, and Malawi. She comes from a ranching family in the Rocky Mountains of southwest Montana, where her husband, David Hagenbarth, holds her world together when she is away.
Michiel Hofman worked on MSF field missions between 1993 and 1998 as Emergency Coordinator and Head of Mission in Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Bosnia, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Brazil, South Sudan, and Kosovo, returning to his other career as a freelance journalist between assignments. Between 1999 and 2001, he co-founded the Antares Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organization that supports local NGOs in providing psycho-social support for staff working in high-stress environments. He returned to MSF in 2001 as Country Director in Russia, Operations Director in Amsterdam, and Country Director for Afghanistan. Since 2011, he has worked as senior humanitarian specialist for MSF based out of Belfast, concentrating on research, training, and operational support as well as publications in the humanitarian field.
Mike White is the deputy operational manager for MSF programs in Haiti, Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, and Liberia. Since 2007, his MSF field work includes assignments in eastern Ethiopia, South Sudan, northern Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, as a logistician, project coordinator, and deputy head of mission. In 2014 and 2015 he worked on the Emergency desk as an operations advisor on South Sudan and Ebola.
Tim Shenk is a senior press officer with MSF-USA and has completed five field communications assignments with MSF, including one in Liberia during the Ebola outbreak. Tim previously worked in communications for two other international aid organizations and as a newspaper reporter. He holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.
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