Just over a month ago I was fortunate to be able to present my talk about Doctors Without Borders and my role in the Ebola outbreak to a very special group of people in Hull.
Ansell is a worldwide company that makes among many other things the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that we wore in the Ebola outbreak:
After this presentation I was invited by Paul the General Manager of Ansell Chemical Solutions to talk to the management team in Brussels.
This was a perfect opportunity to share my experiences with the people who made the kit that kept us safe and able to operate in the catastrophic Ebola outbreak. It was lovely for both Tracey and I to meet this welcoming group of passionate professionals and to talk to them about the importance of what they do.
We arrived in Brussels on Thursday night, I was extremely nervous (and slightly medicated) for the flight due to the high winds in both the UK & Brussels. However we both relaxed as soon as we arrived at the hotel and met Paul and the rest of the Ansell team and had a nice drink in the bar – what could possibly go wrong – single malt + benzodiazepine?
The next morning we were up early and heading to the office for the presentation. Here we met the rest of the team. Paul also invited others who couldn’t attend in person to join us on Skype.
I spoke about the various context in which MSF works, my experience in South Sudan (to illustrate how I would normally present my missions) and then I moved on to the Ebola outbreak and my work in Sierra Leone.
The second half of the talk was about the fundraising project that has now raised over £90,000.
The presentation went very well and was received with both enthusiasm and interest by the entire Ansell team. I was so happy with the response and their thoughtful questions afterwards.
When we finished in the office we left as a group to relax and enjoy some time together. After lunch we went to Brussels Karting which was great fun and a fantastic way to unwind.
After this, we said our goodbyes before Tracey and I joined our new friends Firdaous And Dana for a sightseeing tour of Brussels kindly facilitated by Firdaous.
We returned to the hotel about 1900hrs, had dinner and were in bed and asleep by 2200!
Saturday was just Tracey and I looking around the city. Nice food, Belgian beer, interesting sights and a Jazz bar – very special.
We head home today at the end of a very special weekend. The chance to reconnect with the Ansell team and once again highlight how their work facilitated ours was invaluable. It clearly demonstrates how interdependent we are and ultimately the patients benefit from us all getting it right every time.
Patients safety is all of OUR business. This was the vital lesson from this amazing experience.
Thank you Paul and everyone involved for making us so welcome.