I arrived in Pakistan in January 2011. After a short briefing in the capital office, I took a plane to Quetta, to my project site, where I met my team. In fact I had met the project coordinator (or PC) already in my previous mission in Nigeria. I also knew many of the national staff, whom I had met in Ashgabad in 2008 during medical supply training. Many of them went on to become expat staff and at the moment are on missions all over the world.
I came to Pakistan as a logistician dealing with administration and supplies (or LogAdmin/Supply, as it’s known in MSF) to work in the mother and child healthcare project in Kuchlak, and also to help with the opening of a new paediatric hospital in Quetta by setting up supply, hiring new staff and implementing standard MSF logistical procedures, with the gigantic help of my brilliant national staff. I could write a special article about my staff in Pakistan – they are really special people.
The Kuchlak mother and child healthcare project has been running for many years in Quetta, so all the work was done according to routine and was running well. Together with my staff, we identified where we could improve the performance of our department to ensure an even better and smoother operation of the supply and logistics department. Special thanks to our medical teams for their support and cooperation.
Quetta paediatric hospital was about to start, and Matt, the technical logistician (or TechLog) had put a lot of effort and knowledge into renovating the building and setting up the electricity (including back-up), the water supply, the oxygen system, the heating, the kitchen, the laundry and the sterilisation area. Amazing job!
On weekends, we often cooked food from all over the world and organised movie evenings, played games or just spent the evenings chatting. Sometimes we went to town for kabob or burgers, or to visit the thousands of small shops spread all over the town, where we could enjoy tea offered by the shop owners.
I enjoyed every single moment in Pakistan, every hour spent with both the national and expat teams. Now, with the programmes running well, I have a good feeling, that I have added my small input, and that the children and women of Pakistan have an opportunity to access our services.
I want to thank all the national staff, who worked hard with me, welcomed me to Pakistan and made me feel home.
– Vladimir Pak, Logistician