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Key messages from MSF's Scientific Day

By Rebecca Roby | 08 Jun, 2012

On Friday 25th of May we live streamed the annual MSF Scientific Day. We have had fantastic feedback so far, and online analysis shows we were watched by around 1000 people in 68 countries on five continents. You can now download the videos of all the presentations, as well as the abstracts and posters, on our website: http://www.msf.org.uk/Scientific_Day.aspx. The videos will be available to view until August 31, 2012.

The keynote speaker, Paul Conneally of the UN International Telecommunications Union and ex-ICRC/IFRC laid down a challenge to MSF in his talk on “digital humanitarianism”. He outlined the huge potential of the massive increase in digital data and most importantly the extent to which people are now connected and how this will fundamentally affect how we learn about populations and respond to their needs and how we should be prepared to be driven by their own technological solutions. He described humanitarian organisations as needing disrupters to make them adapt to change or facing becoming "analogue structures in the digital age". 86% of the audience at the end of the session voted for MSF to move forward to lead and invest in digital technology, 43% as a high and 43% as a medium priority.

Another session that gripped the audience was ‘how far should MSF go?’ – this looked at specialised treatment programmes in MSF such as advances in neonatal care and HPV infection and cervical cancer screening/treatment for women with HIV. The audience vote at the end of the session was in favour of MSF catalysing change with innovative programmes and technology. In the same session a presentation on long term follow up of children with severe acute malnutrition raised the question of whether MSF should be offering more continuous nutritional support to certain families and in the final presentation revealing a shockingly high level of sexual violence in Guatemala city but low uptake of health services our model of operation was challenged -- instead of focusing on sexual violence should we be offering a complete package of care particularly aimed at adolescents/young adults?

Please feel free to catch up on any of the presentations online on our website: http://www.msf.org.uk/Scientific_Day.aspx

MSF welcomes any criticism or comments on its research.

Attached is a ‘Snap Shot Overview’ of the day.

Attached resources:



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