MSF Paris Emergency Team – You don’t have to be a doctor
This talk is an exploration of the MSF Emergency Team. The team consists of 10-15 people who are all on special one-year ’emergency’ contracts.
They are ready to be deployed within 24 hours to any sort of emergency context and must assess the situation and set-up activities over the first few days and weeks in order to effectively manage the situation.
Dr Natalie Roberts herself was a member for a few years before she moved on to manage the emergency programmes from Paris. She will discuss her experiences whilst part of this team, painting snapshots of the work of different team profiles such as the nurses, logisticians, coordinators and doctors.
Natalie will describe what each team member does in the first few days of a few different types of emergencies they faced in 2018, including conflict, epidemics, vaccination campaigns and natural disasters, from places as far as Yemen, Bangladesh and Uganda.
After 9 years in surgical and emergency medicine training in the NHS, Natalie joined MSF in 2012. She originally intended to complete six months as a field doctor before returning to the UK. However, she never returned and now manages MSF France’s emergency programmes from their headquarters in Paris.
Before moving to HQ, Natalie was involved in MSF’s emergency medical interventions in various conflict zones, natural disasters, displacement crises and outbreaks. Locations included Syria, Yemen, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, East Ukraine, the Philippines and Pakistan. As a result of her extensive experience around the globe, she is now responsible for the activities of MSF teams working in emergency situations around the world. This means that her passports are full of visa stamps and she spends a large portion of her time either in an aeroplane or the back of a Landcruiser!
Natalie has memberships with the Royal Colleges of Surgery and Emergency Medicine. Additionally, she also holds an MSc in the Political Economy of Violence, Conflict and Development.