May 2, 2017
Voices From The Field: Erika In Maiduguri, Nigeria
This past summer, I was honored to take the position of Executive Director of Doctors of the World USA. I have spent a long career working for a variety of global health, human rights, and social justice causes, and have been present as an activist on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic since its terrifying early years. The opportunity to lead the US Chapter of the international Médecins du Monde network represents a culmination of much of what I have worked for.
Doctors of the World’s mission, principles and values, especially its commitment to advocating for healthcare as a human right for all, have never been more important. These are uncertain times in our country and around the world, when we must redouble our efforts to advance our life-saving work and resist policies that we believe contradict our values, whether it be supporting immigrants who simply want a better life for themselves and their families, the rights of women to freely make their own reproductive and health decisions, or opposing the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would make healthcare a privilege available only to the few who can afford it.
The challenges we face may feel overwhelming – in many ways they always have been. But I can say with certainty that as advocates for evidence-based and sensible public policy, and for fundamental principles of humanity, we have the power to overcome the course of current events. I know this because I have seen it firsthand as an AIDS activist, and I am optimistic that, working together, we can do it again.
I am fortunate to work with a large and diverse team of experienced and dedicated humanitarian, medical, and public health experts who are carrying out our mission in more than 80 countries around the world today, often in unimaginably difficult circumstances. I hope you will join us in the coming year as we conduct the vital and difficult work that lies ahead.