Ebola on the Front Line
with Dr. Javid Abdelmoneim and Jane-Ann McKenna
Following a brief introduction by Chairperson Conor Parle and Friends of MSF, the first event of the year got underway. Jane-Ann McKenna, director of Médecins sans Frontières in Ireland, spoke of the vast responsibilities of MSF, their humanitarian ethos and their work in areas struggling with epidemics such as Ebola. To this background Javid Abdelmoneim, an MSF doctor, recounted his experiences of working with the organisation in Africa.
Adding to Jane-Ann’s general overview of MSF, he told of his involvement in a mobile clinic in South Sudan, where people arrived with their ailments as the clinic moved across the country. Amidst the suffering were success stories, in particular that of his first patient; a boy who had been shot through the chest but recovered fully under his guidance. Upon the outbreak of Ebola, he was sent to Sierra Leone with the stark warning that if he caught Ebola, he would have to stay, and probably die, there.
Whilst he left out graphic details of the pain of his patients, he still allowed us to get an insight into the crisis as it was in the country, and despite the disease’s effect, left his audience with a broadly optimistic message of what MSF and other humanitarian organisations achieved in the region by combatting Ebola. A Q&A session provided further information on the application process and the opportunities for non-medics to join MSF.