doctors without borders@ mit & harvard
Hansel Otero, MD

Hansel Otero, MD, has participated in three Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) programs over the past four years. He will be speaking on his experiences with MSF in emergency and refugee situations, as well as on the role that MSF holds in responding to these situations.

In 2005 Dr. Otero was sent to Angola’s Uige Province as part of MSF’s emergency response to an outbreak of the Marburg virus, an extremely virulent hemorrhagic fever similar to Ebola, which claimed more than 250 lives in the area.

Prior to that, in late 2004, Dr. Otero delivered urgent medical care to thousands of people driven from their homes by the violence in Darfur, Sudan. There, he was part of MSF’s medical team sent to establish primary health care services near the town of Zalingei, where many people in the region had sought shelter.

Dr. Otero first went with MSF to Liberia in 2003, where he stayed for seven months running a large program that provided basic health care, obstetrics, inpatient, and nutritional services for over 72,000 internally displaced persons in remote Bong County.

Dr. Otero received his medical training in Venezuela at the Universidad Central de Venezuela, and first practiced medicine in a small town in the Barlovento region on the coast of the Caribbean. After his work with MSF in Africa he became interested in health economics and health care management, moving to Boston in 2005 to pursue managerial and financial training at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, an affiliated hospital of Harvard Medical School.

Buddhima Lokuge, M.D.

Dr. Buddhima Lokuge is the U.S Manager of the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines at the international medical humanitarian organization, Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF). He will be sharing with us the advocacy work of MSF in providing affordable medicines to treat patients, as well as stimulating funding for research and development into forgotten or neglected diseases.

Buddhima is a medical practitioner who was working as a clinician in Australia until his appointment with MSF NY in 2007, and has worked for MSF in Afghanistan in the late 1990’s. He also has several years of health policy experience as an analyst in Indigenous Health with the Australian Government and as a consultant with an Australian based economics and government relations consultancy.

In 2003, Buddhima coordinated public health research and advocacy activities in Australia on TRIPS plus provisions in the US-Australia Free Trade Agreement, specifically related to the impact of the FTA on access to essential medicines. These efforts contributed to the introduction of legislative amendments designed to minimize the impact of patent evergreening provisions in the FTA.

Buddhima has a medical degree from the University of Sydney and a Masters of Public Health from Harvard. In 2005 was awarded a research fellowship to study the impact of trade agreements on access to medicines at the Australian National University.

Jonathan Spector, M.D.

Jonathan Spector, MD, has worked for Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Darfur, Sudan and in Angola. A specialist in pediatrics with an interest in infectious diseases, Dr. Spector treated children suffering from severe malnutrition at the height of the nutritional crisis in Darfur, where he worked in MSF’s therapeutic feeding center. Here, he also treated patients on an outpatient basis using the new therapeutic food Plumpy’nut. He will be sharing his experiences in treating children as a doctor with MSF.

Dr. Spector's first mission with MSF was during the famine in Angola in 2002, where he supervised medical treatment in a therapeutic feeding center caring for more than 500 severely malnourished children. He has also worked in Ethiopia, Malawi, South Africa, Ecuador, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, and Ukraine.

Dr. Spector recently completed a Master of Public Health at the Harvard School of Public Health and is currently a Neonatology Fellow at UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center, Worcester, MA. Prior to this, he practiced within the Department of Pediatrics at Harvard University Health Services, and was Chief Resident in the Department of Pediatrics, UMass Memorial Medical Center. His publications include research on oral cholera vaccines.