• Simplicity – Focusing on what is essential
    • We often get caught up in the noise and lose sight of the essential things
  • A Story that Highlights Getting Caught up in the Noise
    • In 2014, City of Mosul in Iraq was attacked and taken over by IS. For next 2 years, the 1.4 million people in Mosul lived under the control of IS.
    • In 2016, a coalition led by the Iraqi army started a battle to take back control of Mosul. It was an extremely vicious battle that ended up destroying all the healthcare facilities within the city.
    • Coalition forces slowly started taking over one neighbourhood at a time.  And while the people in those neighbourhoods were no longer under IS control, they couldn’t leave the city because the government hadn’t set up a system of who did/did not belong to IS.
    • The situation: absolutely no healthcare in the city; people unable to leave even when under the coalition care; coalition forces had a curfew in the areas that they controlled from 5pm until 7am and would shoot indiscriminately at anyone in the streets during that curfew period because there was a lot of fear.
    • When the coalition forces controlled about one-quarter of the city, three of us from Doctors Without Borders went into the city to assess needs.
    • Found 500,000 people that could not leave the city that had no access to healthcare.  Heard stories of women dying because they had no access to cesarean sections.
    • We met a man who wanted to turn an old retirement home into a hospital but could not get any materials. Working together, we provided materials and he provided the human resources and we built a hospital – very low-profile to avoid being attacked.
    • Within 3 days we had an emergency room, within 1 week a whole in-patient department, and within 3 weeks we were doing cesarean sections.

Some Sort of Magic

  • This initiative stayed in the heart of everyone involved – there was some sort of magic.
  • Never ended up doing a formal evaluation because nobody could decide what to evaluate. They would get caught up in either the number of surgeries that were done (which wasn’t the important part) or in the fact that we provided health care in bulletproof jackets and helmets (which also wasn’t the important part).
  • The magic was that it was needed. It fit the priority of the people. Even though they were so traumatized, they could come together.