Many interesting things have occurred since my last blog in March. As I was leaving Swaziland, I was offered the opportunity to go directly to Mingkaman, South Sudan to work in a refugee camp for 2 months. The assignment was very interesting… in December/January 70,000 people fled fighting in Bor and moved to a village where 7,000 people normally live. MSF supplied clean water for the camp and medical care through inpatient and outpatient facilities as well as vaccination campaigns. It was a very busy assignment that really allowed me to see the importance of MSF’s work for IDP (internally displaced people).
After spending about 2 months in the USA, I returned to South Sudan for another assignment. I only spent about a month in Juba, South Sudan focusing my time on the central pharmacy warehouse which supplies a mission on the border between Sudan and South Sudan (Agok) and supports Mingkaman as well.
I am now in the Occupied Palestinian Territory, specifically the Gaza Strip. It’s my first assignment in a true conflict zone and one that is focused primarily on surgery and post-operative care including dressing changes and physiotherapy. While MSF has been in Gaza for many years, our workload has increased with the recent war. My assignment is to provide coverage for the local pharmacist who worked tirelessly throughout the war, help organize the extra-large medical supply order when it arrives, and when (if) we receive permission from the Minister of Health, help open a clinic in southern Gaza. I suspect it will be an interesting mission and will offer me the “opportunity” to see first-hand the impact and devastation of war.