At Doctors Without Borders they know better than anyone the responsibility of arriving on time to save a life. An injection on time, an emergency operation, any circumstance in which the intervention of a health worker is urgently needed can be essential for someone to get ahead. And that is what the two interviewees tonight know about. Paula Gil is the new president of MSF Spain and David Noguera is a former president and today is his last day at work. Aimar Bretos has spoken with them.
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“Throughout my career, even before, I received inputs and was aware that there are realities that are not as privileged as ours. I did not even do the specialization, I went directly to MSF. My first mission was in Mogadishu, in Somalia and we had a capacity real to change things, “explains Noguera.
Paula Gil also remembers her first mission: Angola. “As a nurse I liked jobs that had an important social component, it happened to me as happens to practically everyone: that you arrive at a place and you realize that your work changes lives and you get hooked,” he says. “It is a very demanding job, it is a way of life. It is not worth saying that you want to have an experience. You have to have perseverance, enthusiasm, have a certain technical level: all maternal and child health, surgery, learn languages and have that commitment” , He says.
David Noguera recalls the tragic murder of María Hernández, an MSF aid worker a year and a half ago. “We work in conflict sites because we know that our presence there has a differential impact. In any case we have an important level of security, even though there is a residual risk. We have a pact. It is adult people who want to enter here. Nobody points out to anyone when they do not feel how in a country and that individual effort is requested and whoever does not want to assume it can look for other paths. The organization is incapable of ensuring zero risk and our impact, our mission, would make no sense, “he says.
For her part, Paula Gil points out that “80% of her staff is foreigners.” Noguera explains that they have to establish “negotiations” with all the actors in a conflict. “We have to negotiate and have guarantees that our presence will be respected and this is generally the case. If there is a direct threat or bribes we will not accept it. There is a whole diplomacy work, we have had to speak with a dark side and very people. particular, but we do it for the victims, “he says.
“We treat everyone. We also treat ISIS fighters because I took a Hippocratic oath and I have to save everyone. Wars also have laws and go beyond the MSF framework, everyone has the right to medical assistance”, Noguera says and ends: “We don’t know how to manage wars, that’s what politicians are for.”