Health

Doctors Without Borders aid worker to speak in Iowa City Sunday

FILE PHOTO: A nurse wears a watch and stethoscope at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo
FILE PHOTO: A nurse wears a watch and stethoscope at St Thomas’ Hospital in central London January 28, 2015. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth/File Photo

IOWA CITY — After her 16 years with Doctors Without Borders, one field nurse will come to Iowa City this weekend to talk about “the resiliency of people who have been through so much and can come through the other side with a smile and with hope.”

Maggie Wideau, a nurse practitioner and project coordinator, will give her presentation on Doctors Without Borders at the Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Sunday. The hourlong discussion will begin at 1 p.m., with a reception to follow at 2. Doors will open at 12:30.

Doctors Without Borders, also known around the world as Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF, is an international, independent medical humanitarian organization founded in France that focuses its efforts on providing medical care to people in distress.

The organization typically sends medical teams to areas affected by natural disasters, armed conflict, epidemics and other forms of distress.

Sunday’s presentation by Wideau is part of a speakers series, called “MSF On the Road: A Voice From the Field,” that will be held in 20 Midwestern cities through Nov. 5.

Wideau said the speaker series serves as an opportunity for the public to hear from an MSF field worker in person — particularly for those who donate to the organization, to hear how their financial assistance is used.

A 54-year-old Idaho native, she has been with MSF for 16 years as a medical aid worker and a coordinator for various projects around the country. Since 2002, she has completed 15 different assignments in 14 countries, which includes Guatemala, Honduras, Papua New Guinea, Ivory Coast and Zambia.

Most recently, she returned to the United States in April from an assignment in Tanzania, working at a refugee camp. She said MSF was the only organization providing medical care in the camp through a 175-bed hospital and six health care posts throughout the camp.

Wideau’s other assignments have included addressing malnutrition, providing HIV care or addressing gender-based sexual violence.

“Doing this type of work has given me a great appreciation for the opportunity I’ve had in my life,” she said. “Just gives me a better appreciation for what I have. We’re really fortunate in many ways, and I don’t take that for granted.”

For more information on the event, and the rest of the MSF series, visit doctorswithoutborders.org/ontheroad.

l Comments: (319) 368-8536; michaela.ramm@thegazette.com

If you go

l What: “MSF on the Road: A Voice From the Field in Iowa City”

l Where: Iowa City Public Library, 123 S. Linn St., Iowa City

l When: 1 p.m., Sunday. Doors open at 12:30, with a reception to follow at 2.

l Cost: Free

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.

CONTINUE READING

Give us feedback

We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

Or if you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.