Monday Podcast: MSF UK Executive Director Vickie Hawkins

11/12/17

We met Vickie at this year’s Meaning Conference talking about Medecins sans Frontieres‘ guiding principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence.

MSF have a long history working in the most difficult circumstance and having to make difficult choices. Vickie talks about how these principles and medical ethics help with many of the difficult decisions she and the organisation need to make with limited resources and enormous needs.

Do they focus on preventive health, non-communicable needs, acute malnutirition, trauma? And what is their campaigning role, calling out the causes of these crises? How do they restore dignity and what does that mean?

Like us, MSF is also in Bangladesh and we talk about the dilemmas there:

“At the moment, we’re focused on ensuring that people have what they need to survive. Over time, you can look at bringing in some of those activities that start to bring a bit of normal activity into people’s lives…but how can you normalise a situation where you’ve got a million people living together in really unsuitable circumstances? Do we want to normalise that? And those people don’t want to be refugees forever.”

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