Tankred Stöbe: working with Médecins Sans Frontières
Tankred Stöbe is president of MSF Germany and has worked in the field
- By: Peter Siordet Scolding, Søren Kudsk-Iversen
After working in a hospital for some years I realised that this alone did not satisfy me as a doctor. I needed a change, and in 2002 I applied to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). On my first mission they sent me to the Thai-Burma (Myanmar) border, supporting 10 villages for internally displaced people in the Burmese jungle. It was a good experience.
Over the past few years several security threats to MSF in the field have been reported. Recently I returned from a mission in Pakistan where, similar to Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, staff security became a huge issue every day. No one can guarantee security but we do everything possible to reduce the risks by working low profile (sometimes including remote management), minimising transport, updating our security procedures frequently, and maintaining regular contact with the parties involved in the conflict. Explaining to them our neutrality, independence, and impartiality is