Johan von Schreeb , MD,PhD is an associate professor specialised in general surgery and disaster medicine. In 1989 he went on his first mission with Médecins Sans Frontières. In 1993 he co-founded MSF in Sweden and served as its president for seven years. He also regularly works with the World Health Organisation and was co-author of their publication ‘Classification and standards for Foreign Medical Teams (FMT)’ in sudden onset disasters. In his most recent task for the WHO he was the coordinator of the FMT during the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. Johan was awarded ‘Swede of the Year’ in 2014 by Swedish news magazine FOKUS and was honoured with the Prins Carl medal by the Swedish King in 2014 for his outstanding humanitarian work during the ebola crisis. We asked him about his opinion on the postgraduate Global Health and Tropical Medicine programme.
‘’I am a general surgeon who decided to widen my professional skills and also work globally. I have, through my work in several low- and middle-income countries, significantly improved my surgical capacities to manage a wide range of surgical as well as medical challenges. I can work and take decisions with limited resources and have improved my clinical skills significantly thanks to my global work. In Sweden we have few number of trauma patients and thus our experience is limited, that’s why Swedish surgeons now spend time in South Africa to get trained. South Africa thereby helps Sweden to improve our trauma care skills. I strongly believe in more collaborative efforts between ‘the North and the South’ and think ‘reversed innovations’ and ‘reciprocal learning’ are terms that should guide also high income countries and health systems such as in the Netherlands. My strong advice is to keep and develop the Dutch postgraduate training in Global Health and Tropical Medicine. It will serve the Dutch population in the years to come.’’
Johan von Schreeb MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Specialist in General Surgery and Disaster medicine
Centre for Research on Health Care in Disasters
Global Health I Health System and Policy I Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet