Dr. Andrew Schechtman, Doctors Without Borders, worked in Liberia and shares his experiences working in a war zone.
"We had to move furniture to accommodate over 200 people," recalls Dr. Schechtman."The work was exhausting. Seven days a week, sometimes up to 16 hours a day.One Sunday, four children died; that day I ran out of body bags. I thought I did my best for each patient. Still, each time I wondered if there was something I missed, something I just didn't think of that might have saved them." So speaks Andrew Schechtman, a volunteer physician who spent over a year in Liberia.
Dr. Andrew Schechtman, a family practice physician from the Bay Area, recently returned from Liberia, a West African country embroiled in civil war since 1989. After working in a 90-bed hospital in a remote part of the country, Schechtman became the only doctor for 50,000 people forced to leave their villages and move to refugee camps in Bong County. This June he relocated to the capital city, Monrovia, where Doctors Without Borders-Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) set up an emergency hospital to manage war injuries and the growing spread of cholera, measles, and malnutrition. Schechtman will discuss his work with Doctors Without Borders-MSF in Liberia and the plight of the civilian population.
A UCLA graduate, Dr. Schechtman's first DWB-MSF mission was in Omugo, northern Uganda, in 1998. He managed a hospital for the treatment of African Sleeping Sickness. The disease, spread by the tsetse fly, is 100 percent fatal unless treated. Some 55,000 people die from this disease each year in 36 African countries. Dr. Schechtman has also worked on Indian reservations in North and South Dakota and staffed emergency rooms in small town Louisiana. He is currently in charge of the Ochsner Clinic Foundation's family practice residency program and is based in San Jose. He has an avid interest in the application of handheld computers in medicine and developed the website MeisterMed which publishes handheld medical references. Dr. Schechtman enjoys traveling and has traveled in Thailand and has studied in Guatemala and Costa Rica.
Date: Friday, January 16, 2004
Time: 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall (10th floor)
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Cost: Free and open to the public
Parking is available in lot 3 for $7.
James S. Coleman African Studies Center
Sponsor(s): African Studies Center, Doctors Without Borders