MSF intervention in north Italy - Carlotta Berutti
Carlotta Berutti, coordinator of the MSF project in Lodi province, Codogno hospital.

© Davide Arcuri
MSF project in Lodi province, Codogno hospital. © Davide Arcuri
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Live chat on COVID-19: Responding to a pandemic

March 26 2020, 1:00pm - 2:00pm ET

*At the time of the event, you can tune in to the discussion via Zoom or Facebook Live

We’re all affected by the coronavirus emergency. And it will take every one of us to slow down this epidemic.

Join us for this live online chat with Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) about what our teams are doing around the world—and what each of us can do closer to home to flatten the curve. MSF teams are responding to coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, from Hong Kong to Italy. We’re opening new medical projects in some of the countries hardest hit, strengthening infection controls across our programs, and adapting to this unprecedented threat to health systems around the world. We also face huge challenges maintaining our other lifesaving medical work in more than 70 countries, responding where the needs are greatest.

Join Avril Benoît, MSF-USA executive director; Northan Hurtado, deputy medical director at MSF-USA; and Karin Huster, nurse and MSF project coordinator recently returned from managing our COVID-19 response in Hong Kong. We’ll discuss how to tackle the immediate dangers of coronavirus, and how we can prepare for the wider impacts of this pandemic.

Speakers will answer audience questions about the COVID-19 emergency and related MSF activities.

The panel:

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.

Northan Hurtado is the deputy medical director based at Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in New York. 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.

Karin Huster, nurse and MSF project coordinator, earned a BS in Nursing from the University of Washington (UW) in 2005 and her MPH from UW's Department of Global Health in 2013. She worked for nine years as a registered nurse at Harborview Medical Center's Trauma ICU. She now focuses her time responding to humanitarian emergencies as a project coordinator for MSF. On occasion, she works as an adviser with the emergency response branch of USAID. Between 2012-2019, Karin worked with MSF in Lebanon, West Africa, Haiti, Nigeria, Iraq, South Sudan, and Democratic Republic of Congo. In her most recent assignment in 2020, she worked as a project coordinator in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Hong Kong, where the team developed infection prevention control, health promotion and mental health activities packages targeting the most vulnerable populations.