of Dr Indu Gambhir:
India and how the two meet
provides routine medical care to people afflicted with diseases
whose treatment has been neglected. The organization also works
in conflict areas to assist the local people in need of medical
care. The medical care provided by MSF ranges from general medical
care to specialized treatment for AIDS, sleeping sickness, tuberculosis,
Kala Azar, malaria, malnutrition and psychological aid to victims
of conflict, especially women.
has been present in India for some time and has established missions
in Kashmir, Assam, Bihar, Manipur, Bombay and Chatisgarh. MSF has
been greatly assisted in its work by Indian generic drug manufacturers
who have provided prescription drugs at low cost. This has enabled
MSF to provide better care to the sick, not only in India but in
other developing countries.
experience working in Manipur provided her with insight to the medical
needs of vulnerable populations and how conflict affects their health
and well being. She will share these experiences with us.
about Dr Indu Gambhir...
of Ms Barbara Sibbald: The forgotten people of Manipur
November 2007 I spent a week at a Médecins sans frontières/Doctors
without borders health project in Manipur, India researching an
article on the humanitarian crisis, and in particular it's medical
implications in that beleaguered, seemingly forgotten state.
funding destined for health care is "diverted" by corrupt
politicians and bureaucrats, with the result that even the most
basic health care is largely unavailable to the vast majority of
the people. Sadly, their need is great for a variety of reasons.
porous border between Manipur and Myranmar means that drugs (in
particular heroin) and arms readily enter the state. In addition,
a 40-year civil war, involving numerous indigenous tribes, has resulted
in the deaths of many people -- mostly men -- and general lack of
security and peace. What this means in practical terms is a high
rate of HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, plus a fractured, fragmented
social structure. I have published two articles about my experience
in Manipur (Ottawa
Citizen and Canadian Medical Association Journal).
about Barbara Sibbald ...
of Dr. Indu Gambhir
was raised in India and completed her medical education there. She
emigrated to Canada in 1969 and in 1972, started practicing medicine
in Fredericton New Brunswick. In 1974, she moved to Cornwall, Ontario
where she focused on emergency medicine. She was Chief of the Emergency
Department of the Hotel Dieu Hospital and a founding member of the
Canadian Association of emergency physicians. She was also a member
of the Eastern Ontario District Health Council and chaired the Eastern
Ontario Trauma Prevention Committee.
Indu has always had a particular interest is disaster management.
While in Cornwall, she worked with hospital officials as well as
the police and fire department to develop their capacity to respond
to crisis situations. In the early 1990s, she was involved in the
management of the crisis on the Akwesasne Indian reserve and helped
coordinate the evacuation and post-evacuation care of residents.
front-line experience with police, fire and hospital personnel led
her to examine more closely the stress experienced by first responders
to critical incidents. She was instrumental in raising awareness
of critical incident stress as a health issue and worked closely
with first responders to develop coping mechanisms.
1993, she moved to Ottawa in 1993 and began working with the Canadian
Medical Protective Association (CMPA). At the CMPA, she co-led a
study that examined the impacts of stress experienced by physicians
as a result of complaints to their professional licensing bodies
or to the courts.
retiring from the CMPA in 2004, Indu joined Medecins Sans Frontieres
(MSF). She has completed missions in Liberia, Sudan, India and Kenya
and is currently the coordinator of the peer support network of
of Ms. Barbara Sibbald
writer Barbara Sibbald has worked as a journalist and editor for
more than 25 years in a wide range of media including The Ottawa
Citizen, The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, The Toronto Star, Canadian
Geographic, Ottawa Magazine, fifth estate and others. In both 2005
and 2006, articles she co-authored received a citation in the Governor
Genera’s Michener Award for Meritorious Public Service Journalism.
Her writing has also garnered a National Magazine Award, Canadian
Association of Journalist Investigative Reporting Award and Canadian
Business Press KR Wilson awards. During the past 14 years she has
specialized in medical communications and is currently the Deputy
Editor, News and Humanities at the Canadian Medical Association
Journal. She is also passionately devoted to writing fiction and
has published 13 short stories in literary journals and a novel,
Regarding Wanda (Bunkhouse Press, 2006, which was short-listed for
the Ottawa book award. Her second novel is nearing completion.
maternal great-grandfather was one-quarter Indian (a descendent
of a British and Indian union) and her maternal grandmother, and
mentor, was born and raised in India. She grew up on curries and
chapatti, and has had a life-long fascination with the country.
She made her first (and so far only) trip there for six weeks in
2007, travelling with her mother to Delhi, Varanasi and Kolkata
(for a Hindu wedding), among other places. She plans to go back
for a longer period to either teach journalism at a college as a
guest lecturer or continue her work as a journalist in the country.