The U.S. executive director of Doctors Without Borders, Sophie Delaunay, and this year’s Senior Nitze Fellow at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, will give her third and final lecture at 8 p.m. Monday, April 16, in the college’s Auerbach Auditorium of St. Mary’s Hall. Known globally as Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), the Doctors Without Borders organization was created by doctors and journalists in 1971 to send volunteer medical help to people threatened by disease and war in more than 60 countries. The talk and the reception that follows are free and open to the public.
The last 15 years have been the scene of profound changes in the field of global health. The health debate shifted from national agendas to international ones. Numerous factors contributed to this transformation, among them the devastating HIV/AIDS epidemic, the growing mobilization of civil society, and the perceived transnational threats related to pandemics or bioterrorism in an environment where goods and people circulate more easily. These combined factors have changed global health issues into major political challenges and have led to major political alliances like the Global Fund and to huge increases in the financial resources devoted to global health. But has this translated into major health improvements in countries in need? What are the new challenges created by this new global health architecture?
Sophie Delaunay will provide her understanding of the key health challenges as well as her perspective on the most relevant responses from the MSF perspective as one of the few independent medical actors working at field-level and involved in this new global arena.
The Nitze Scholars Program focuses on leadership and public service. “An organization like Doctors Without Borders speaks to that global spirit that was so important to Ambassador Nitze,” says Michael Taber, assistant professor of philosophy and director of the Nitze Scholars Program.