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Brazil 2020 © Diego Baravelli


Moving forward: The future of COVID

Brazil 2020 © Diego Baravelli

March 03, 2022

1:00PM-1:45PM ET

Event type: Live online

View the recording

This is the first webinar in our four-part Moving Forward series. Join us for future conversations that explore how aid workers and humanitarians are tackling some of the world’s biggest challenges today—while preparing for future emergencies.

As the world prepares to enter a third year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us have questions about what our future will look like. What does it mean to learn to live with COVID? How much does that answer depend on where we live, and what kind of access we have to vaccines, tests, and treatments?

Teams from Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) have had to adapt constantly to confront the evolving challenges posed by COVID-19. We remain ready to respond to potential new waves of the disease, especially as vaccination rates remain dangerously low in many of the countries where we work. We also continue to push for global equitable access to COVID vaccines and other lifesaving medical tools.

Join us on Thursday, March 3 for a conversation with MSF experts to find out what we’ve learned from our COVID response over the past two years, and why we’re calling for pandemic protection for everyone everywhere. 


Mihir Mankad, MSF-USA senior advisor for global health advocacy and policy, is a human rights lawyer and economic and social justice activist who has worked for nearly 15 years to challenge the injustices of the global economy and to empower marginalized communities. Prior to joining MSF, Mihir worked with the Center for Economic and Social Rights on developing its vision for a rights-based economy, implementing its COVID-19 response work and coordinating economic and social rights investigations with partners. For many years, he worked with Mr. Anand Grover, the former United Nations Special Rapporteur on the right to health, including conducting health and human rights fact-finding investigations in around the world, including in Syria, Vietnam, Ghana and Guatemala. He has extensive experience as consultant to many human rights organizations on a range of subjects such as drug policy, access to medicines, and tuberculosis. He holds a JD and MA in International Politics from American University and a BA in English Literature and Philosophy from Cornell University. 

Dr. Northan Hurtado is the Head of MSF-USA's Medical Unit. He started working with MSF in 2002 as a physician in a therapeutic feeding center in Kaala, Angola. Since then, he has worked in several MSF missions including Niger, Nigeria, Guatemala, and Sudan. Northan joined the MSF-France headquarters in 2007, where he worked as medical referent for tuberculosis, hemorrhagic viral fevers, neglected diseases, and immunization before moving to MSF-USA in May 2013. He holds a diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene and a master's degree in tropical medicine and international health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and a master's degree in epidemiology from the University of Cambridge. He has contributed to several medical scientific publications and to various MSF guidelines. 

Dr. Elena Nicco is an infectious disease doctor and medical coordinator of MSF’s COVID-19 task force based in Brussels. She is an Italian medical doctor, who has worked with MSF in many roles and multiple country projects over the past ten years. In 2021, Elena started in her current rule, in which she supports the medical response for all of MSF Belgium’s COVID-19 operations. At the core of her work, Elena focuses mostly on disease control programs, global health approaches, and caring for vulnerable communities and those excluded from healthcare.  

Avril Benoît, MSF-USA executive director, has worked with the international medical humanitarian organization since 2006 in various operational management and executive leadership roles, most recently as the director of communications and development at MSF’s operational center in Geneva, a position she held from November 2015 until June 2019. Throughout her career with MSF, Avril has contributed to major movement-wide initiatives, including the global mobilization to end attacks on hospitals and health workers. She has worked as a country director and project coordinator for MSF, leading operations to provide aid to refugees, asylum seekers, and migrants in Mauritania, South Sudan, and South Africa. Avril’s strategic analysis and communications assignments have taken her to countries including Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Haiti, Iraq, Lebanon, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, and Syria. From 2006 to 2012, Avril served as director of communications with MSF Canada.