I worked with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Nigeria from January 2010 till October 2010 as a supply logistician. I am very proud that my first mission as an international staff was in Nigeria, which was where a group of French doctors came up with the idea of creating MSF. It all happened during the civil war in Nigeria in 1970, when some doctors working for an international aid mission, felt they were being silenced when they wanted to tell the world about the atrocities they witnessed. Eventually, in 1971, along with a group of journalists who shared the same principles, they founded MSF.
I was based in a small town called Goronyo, Sakoto state in Northern Nigeria. In Goronyo, there is only one Primary Health Centre (PHC), and in the past, its ability to provide medical care was limited due to its size and capacity. Since the last two years, MSF has been supporting the PHC where it runs the Mother and Child Health Centre (MCHC). MSF teams have been constantly busy providing medical assistance to people suffering from illnesses and seasonal epidemics. As a result, the PHC has become well known in other towns, states and even in the neighboring country of Niger. MSF’s work was particularly appreciated during the floods in Goronyo in September 2010, when besides providing medical assistance, MSF also distributed relief items and clean water to thousands of people displaced due to flooding.
In the project, I was given the task of implementing MSF standard procedures and tools. I was also responsible for building the local capacity to monitor stocks and efficiently order medicines and other materials. I was very lucky to be with a very good team, and together, we were able to achieve our goals. It is very important to have a good supply team for efficient warehouse management and distribution to ensure that every donated cent reaches our patients.
My work didn’t bring me in contact with patients and displaced people, but every time I saw a healthy and smiling child, every time they would wave their hand towards me, it was the biggest reward for my work. I am sure it’s the same for everyone in our big MSF team.
I have been working with MSF since 2002 as a logistician in Uzbekistan.