02 Jul 19 02 Jul 19

MSF Scientific Days 2019: Session Summaries by Muneera Williams

Session 1

You breakdown borders in a world now divided

split without stitch,

people become tools of policy and war,

life is declining but like a breath of fresh, you are there,

like an ocean breeze, you are there.

Once upon a time, and not so long ago,

we only got one shot at life,

but we are living in a time where humankind have the ability to preserve life,

it’s just that we may have to change the methods that we currently now know

reject some of the things that we were previously sold…

taught, believe, told and hold dear,

but on the other side of fear there are solutions to all of the things we have ever questioned,

beyond this frontier is your mind, waiting to produce jewels of every kind.

You are not the flock nor the ones who follow,

you are the leaders in a war against the status quo.

20 years ago we were told that HIV was a death sentence,

which affected only those whose sexuality was not binary,

apparently HIV meant you couldn’t have a healthy baby and condoms were the only form of prevention,

those were the misconceptions that we were invested in

and you changed that.

yes you right here,

So why stop there?

You are the light when there is fear, hope is now near.

HIV patients now have three shots at life,

three life lines if they are given the opportunity to gene test in time.

This could identify drug resistant mutations,

if this is the case there are third line treatment drugs and vaccinations.

Like a breath of fresh you are there,

like an ocean breeze, you are there.

There is nothing better than peer to peer education DOT stands for Directly Observed Treatment and this is what it is facilitating.

HIV patients empowering each other, some patients weren’t resistant, they were just not educated now they are consistent everything is changing.

like a breath of fresh you are there

The world keeps turning, we keep learning

Take Antibiotics,

could it be that one of the greatest inventions of the last  few centuries, has been over used instead of sparingly.

Some health professionals don’t know, others know but want to provide their patients  with hope, while others focus on sales and over counter use,

pharmaceuticals have become community connectors sending out old messages that aren’t that reflective.

In the near future I see the people of Bengal taking back control, to know the side affects of over use  of antibiotics and its role,

taking power out of the hands of pharmaceutical pockets and their politics people versus profit,

Ocean breeze, you are there

Nduta and the plight of those categorised as a refugee.

Living in camps that are so frequently

over crowded, and the insect surrounding it.

Doctor without borders are doing their best, identifying areas most at risk, educating communities, so there are less deaths, yet there is a need for new generation nets.

Some strains of mosquitoes are becoming resistant.

 2 different insecticides,

where they are trialled we are slowly winning the fight.

But Malaria is not gone, so neither should you.

See you on the other side at the end of part 2

Session 2

One: Power participation and People, educate a women and we will reach all

In interviews conducted they stated what they basically wanted,

“we don’t want fish, we want to cast our own net, meaning condoms for us have little to no benefit. Where’s the science that centres us”

prophylaxis was the answer when questioned,

after years of science that didn’t consider them.

They went through patriarchal practices and top down colonialism

respectability politics and more,

but now is the time to amplify voices of young women  and girls ,

support needs to come with it,

because side affects and pill burden becomes exhausting

we need other resources, like patient centred counselling.

Empower the women

Empower the women

But this can’t be top down, we need to bring the whole community in. 

Two: Refused and referred,

Imagine stigmatisation from your community and  loved ones,

all because of a condition.

A condition that is not you, yet most see it before they see you

use it as an excuse to judge you and exclude you from access to care.

Call you immoral or dirty, erase  every trace of your humanity and deem you as unworthy, unworthy of access to health care, the doctors won’t touch em so why would anybody else care,

isolation on top of self isolation

this is what some go through,

ignorance has bloomed,

we need educated professionals in the room.

Three: Imagine once again, just for a second, home becomes a fading memory

you are forced to flee, and now you are deemed refugee.

Once there was a place you used to flourish, the security of bloodline, kinfolk and mother-tongue.

On rare occasions you get a whiff of the food from there, but you are far from there, on top of that you are sick and need palliative care.

what is humanitarian without the humanity and humanity without the humans,

 people should be the focus, and you are no less human because you are terminally

 ill, all souls are tasting death, health care and pain relief should not be proportioned on how much time you left.

You deserve pain relief too, dignity too

 not false dichotomies of who’s more deserving than who.

Though this maybe a tough situation, humanitarian should never be this close to humiliation.

Four: When we over consume, someone somewhere else will defiantly feel the effect of it, because we like to have so much, someone somewhere else is in deficit

This can be answered in a multiple ways, but lets just take the case of climate change.

in the UK we get a few hot days in October, people walk around without a scarf around their shoulders, but know that other countries are shouldering the load while we escape the cold,

they are left with deserts where green fields used to be

water is becoming a privilege not afforded to everybody.

So the women of the village can no longer teach their daughters how to be women in the village,

the landscape is changing, famine and drought,

Malnutrition is soaring and who knows if it will end,

 haves and have nots is a popular trend.

So now we have to find ways to cope with it, upper arm circumference bracelets and and ready to use therapeutic food are the start of addressing it.

These are just some of the things that we can do,

in this together, fight this together

power participation and people

at the centre we are all people.

Session 4

Combination medication is halving  treatment duration for HIV patients,

many have lost their lives, let it not be in vein

your sacrifice has given us such gain.

with this virus it seems we are on the right path,

That's right almost half.

Noma on the other hand  is slightly different

not much is Known or written, and many misconceptions exist about this condition except the fact, that it effects mainly children.

Sokoto, the home of Uthman Dan Fodio, Nana Asmau and Muhammed Bello.

The economy was flourishing a couple 100 years ago, but now we have this disease that rapidly eats what it meets,

 hard and soft tissue, disfiguring faces, stigmatisation happens in such places.

Be it spirit be it flesh towards health professionals there is mistrust.

And who’s left to suffer, the ones who already suffer,

mental health deteriorates as well as the flesh,

more research will ensure better health and less deaths.

Some say money is the final frontier of feminism,

that’s s a privileged perspective and a mind that's neglected

elsewhere in the world.

Home and abroad women go through endless wars,

and health care is one of them.

Pregnant women become soldiers fighting hard to give birth visceral Leishmaniasis  is a common enemy,

but if you are with child it’s extra deadly.

Miscarriage and premature delivery,

yet cure rates are high and mortality is low,

healthy women equals healthy babies that grow.

There are many barriers, finance and more,

but the research happening giving women something to live for

Bites from a snake is the deadliest neglected tropical disease, but it something that doesn’t need to be deadly,

 South Sudan has proven

that the real killer is wealth distribution,

access to health care and a right to live,

something that is preventable, but yet it still exist.

Will antivenoms be the answer to this

Kissing bugs kiss, what they leave behind is infectious,

not the stuff rom coms are made from

Boy will not meet girl, girl will not marry guy, Jennifer Aniston will not walk in with alluring  eyes.  

Lauryn Hill sang killing me softly, with CD quite literally.

But I’m sure with your minds and hearts, most of these issues you will solve.

Dear you, dear wonderful,  hard working under paid you.

Health change makers and leaders, fact finders and truth seekers in a world where politics determines who has access to health I ask you to also interrogate but also congratulate yourselves,

your commitment humanity has taken us this far,

your presence saves hundreds of thousands from harm.

My name is muneera pilgrim  thank you for listening

get a card from me after, for your conferences and bookings.


Dare to Change

Be brave enough to arrive at a place where you say I Don’t Know

If we have answered to all of the questions the likelihood is we are kneeling in an empty pool with flip-flops and goggles on,

and someone somewhere has not got a seat at the table.

Break the Mould

in a world so fragile, old practices are rooted even if not intentionally, inevitably in power structures that may not be equitable or befitting for people like you who

Stand for Good

the education and empowerment of all, co-collaboration, full participation

for solving a crisis like this

We've never been here before, the world looks different, but when the sails fail to blow us in right direction, when we find ourselves lost at sea with sharks surrounding us, waiting for fresh blood

we must not give up, we must not sit back, we must not lose hope, because hope is the first step

there is no action without hope and no hope without action

What a  perfect incubator of corruption…

but before that hate, widespread hate.

It is not the powerful nor the politicians that will lead on a course where there is no coming back from,

it is not money, neither is it greed, I believe it is the widespread of apathy

it is us not caring, looking at someone suffering while thinking it's not me.

We are in this together, Brother Ali said there is no you, there is no me, there is only us,  there is no you, there is no me!! there is only us!!

So from this usness, that innate thing that flows through us and makes us sacred, that breath inside our very chest, the blood in our veins,  the shared legacy of those that came before us,

I say Dare to Dream

and don’t let failure stop you, for it is just proof that we were here and that we cared,

like lovers lightly carving their names in the trunks of trees

we must go with the fear

stop dreaming the same dream, be bold enough to be a visionaries and gather a colourful tribe from multiple disciplinary.

Your task is more tasking than ever, changing the narrative, setting the agenda, writing new scripts

tell those stories that were never told

for you are the innovative new wave humanitarians

and for you I dedicate this manifestation

Dare to change <3