Pakistan: Working hard to achieve my dream
Abdullah is currently assistant medical focal point in an MSF-supported hospital in Pakistan. Here he blogs about how for over five years of hard work and passion he earned his ideal job, from nurse to a top management position.
I have been a part of MSF for more than five years. This sounds like a lot of time, but everything has passed so quickly. The clock runs fast when you are doing something you like.
Back in August 2011, I put on an MSF jacket for the first time. I started working as nurse in a Diarrhea Treatment Centre (DTC) in Kurram Agency – one of MSF’s projects in FATA, Pakistan’s tribal area.
The initial assignment was for three months, but my contract was extended to one year as a result of my performance.
Soon after saying goodbye to Kurram, I joined MSF’s team in Chaman, Balochistan as paediatric nurse in the inpatient department. Unfortunately I had to leave the area just after four weeks due to security concerns.
I was disappointed, and rather saddened. Nonetheless, I was not disheartened.
Photo of women waiting outside an MSF clinic in Chaman, Pakistan

Women waiting outside a clinic in Chaman, Pakistan. Photo: Sa'adia Khan / MSF

My desire to continue working with MSF was fulfilled the moment I was welcomed by the Timergara team. I felt immense happiness in being able to help people in need.
Early in 2014, I contributed in measles campaigns in Upper Dir and Timergara. Towards the end of the year, I became a permanent part of Bajaur team - which I still am to this day.
Hard work and commitment helped me climb up the ladder of progress, as I was promoted to nurse supervisor in 2015, and most recently to assistant medical focal point (MFP) for Bajaur. I progressed professionally in an organisation I like - what more I can ask for?

Working for MSF gives me joy and satisfaction, and being in a management position is just like a dream come true


Working for MSF gives me joy and satisfaction, and being in a management position is just like a dream come true.
I now firmly believe that a person always bears the fruits of his honesty and commitment towards work. This is especially true in an organisation like MSF, where hard work never goes wasted.
The Bajaur project is complex. It took the tribal people some time to get back to normal life after years of conflict in the agency and surrounding areas. The situation is not yet completely back to normal, but mostly calm.
In an area which has been a conflict zone for years, the health gaps are evident. Poorer people, who comprise a major part of the population, can’t afford private facilities.
As such, MSF's presence is of great importance for the inhabitants of Bajaur.
Photo of Bigrana, an old woman from Bajaur, in Pakistan.

Bigrana, a woman from Bajaur, in Pakistan. Photo: Vali Faucheux-Georges / MSF

While we try to improve the quality of care and increase coordination with the Pakistani Ministry of Heath, we hope to also extend the opening times of the stabilisation room to 24 hours – it is currently only open eight hours a day.
As such, my new role of assistant medical focal point demands a lot of responsibility. I am up for this challenge.
The project is complex, but also unique in some ways. It has been run by national staff since its opening; we luckily get support from international staff based in Timergara.
I am sure that with support of my team and colleagues, we will continue to run medical activities smoothly and effectively.

Working with vulnerable communities gave me more sense of humanity and humanitarian values

On a personal level, working with MSF has not only helped me in professional development and enhancing skills, it actually helped me become a better human being.
Being a medic, I deal with the public every second, and this job has taught me how to be gentle with people even in the toughest of situation.
Working with vulnerable communities actually gave me more sense of humanity and humanitarian values.
I now feel more flexibility in my personality, because my job asks for flexibility with my duty timings and work. While we often deal with security situations, the MSF work taught me how to keep spirits high and continue helping people in hard times. 
It is satisfying to treat people in Bajaur where they literally have no other option to go. I feel pride in being a member of the worldwide MSF team.