McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Doctors Without Borders travelling expo to visit Hamilton

Published: May 26, 2006
A trailer showcasing the work of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) will be at McMaster University on Wednesday.

The travelling expo for a prominent international humanitarian organization founded in part by McMaster University alumni, is visiting the campus.

A 48-foot trailer showcasing the work of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) will be at McMaster University on Wed. May 31, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Two McMaster-trained physicians were founders of the Canadian branch of the independent organization. Richard Heinzl and James Orbinski were attending the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine in the late 80s’ when they developed an interest in the organization that provides medical assistance for health disasters caused by poverty and war. Dr. Orbinski accepted the Nobel Peace Prize on behalf of MSF in 1999.

The Expo is an innovative, educational project designed to provide Canadians with the experience of going on a mission with MSF to one of four countries, and dealing with the realities of neglected diseases in the developing world.

A 10-minute visit to the trailer will let you meet with MSF teams and experience what it would be like to volunteer overseas. Spin the MSF wheel and see where your mission takes you. Will you go to Bolivia, Sierra Leone, South Africa or Uzbekistan? Will you have to deal with HIV/AIDS, TB, malaria or Chagas disease? You can learn about neglected diseases and how access to essential medicines impacts millions of people.

Last year MSF treated more than 57,000 AIDS patients in 29 countries with antiretroviral drugs. Approximately 3,500 of these patients were children. In 2004, MSF treated around 13,000 TB patients in 24 countries and one million malaria patients.

MSF was established in 1971 by a small group of French doctors who were determined to find a way to respond rapidly and effectively to public health emergencies, with complete independence from political, economic and religious influences. MSF has launched the Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines ( to address and improve access to essential drugs for populations in danger. Today, MSF is the world's leading independent, international medical relief organization, with 19 offices worldwide.

The MSF trailer will be parked between the Health Sciences Centre and the Life Sciences building on the south-east part of the McMaster campus.

The MSF Expo will also be at Gore Park in downtown Hamilton from Thursday, June 1 through Sunday, June 4.

The touring exhibit, showcased in a 48-foot trailer, will visit eight cities in Ontario and Quebec from May to August this year.

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