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Tom Ellman is director of the Southern Africa Medical Unit (SAMU). Since first working for MSF in Rwanda in 1995, he has over 15 years of experience in humanitarian medical work mostly with Medecins Sans Frontieres. His focus has been on HIV, TB, and malaria in Africa and South-East Asia, apart from a three-year ‘break’ working on Chagas disease – the ‘AIDS of the Americas’ – in Bolivia.
Tom received his medical training in Edinburgh, has a Diploma from the School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (Liverpool), and a Masters in Communicable Disease Epidemiology from the School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (London). He is a member of the Royal College of Physicians, UK and a beekeeper.
Eric Goemaere is a medical doctor and economist by training. His career with MSF started in 1982, working in Chad and afterwards in several field MSF missions, with some ‘interruptions’ to be OCB’s medical director (1988 to 1991) and General Director (1994 to 1999).In 1999 Eric migrated to South Africa to pioneer MSF’s first public health ARV programme in Khayelitsha. Since then Eric has occupied numerous positions in running MSF’s projects in South Africa, finally joining SAMU in 2009 where he is currently the HIV/TB Unit Coordinator.
Eric has received an Honoris Causa doctorate from University of Cape Town (UCT) for his work in HIV, as well as being appointed honorary senior lecturer in the School of Public Health and Family Medicine. He is a member of the South African AIDS Council and on the WHO guidelines advisory board.
Gilles Van Cutsem is a medical doctor, master in public health and epidemiologist with over 16 years’ experience with MSF in Africa. From 1998 to 2000 he treated patients in war contexts in South Sudan and Angola, and in 2001 as an emergency doctor in Belgium. For the next 15 years he has worked in the field of HIV and TB, in Mozambique, Angola, and South Africa, as a clinician, researcher, coordinator of the Khayelitsha project, and from 2010 to 2016 as the medical coordinator for South Africa and Lesotho, with an interruption in November-December 2014 as the emergency medical coordinator for MSF’s Ebola intervention in Liberia. He has served as vice-president on the board of MSF-South Africa and on the national council of the Treatment Action Campaign, and is an honorary research associate at the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research of the University of Cape Town. He joined SAMU on the 1st of April 2016 to provide support to MSF HIV/TB projects. Besides humanitarian aid he loves his two daughters, surfing and Spinoza.
Ian Proudfoot is the clinical training coordinator for SAMU. After graduating as a doctor from the University of Cape Town in 1982, he spent over 20 years in general practice in Cape Town, during which time he specialised in family medicine. In 2007 the needs of the government sector started to beckon and within a few years he made a career shift into HIV medicine, moving to Mpumalanga in 2009 to work in an HIV/TB clinic.
Two years later, after gaining valuable HIV consulting experience and completing the HIV management diploma, he moved back to Cape Town, joining MSF in their Khayelitsha project. There his passion for clinical education started to find expression, resulting to a move to SAMU to take over the running of the training unit. With increasing demand for training SAMU’s learning unit expanded considerably over the next few years allowing him to move in to a more focused role of developing HIV clinical resources and elearning materials and coordinating clinical HIV trainings both in Cape Town and in the field.
After her specialization in clinical psychology in France, Kleio Iakovidi joined MSF Greece for her first mission in a primary health care project for migrants and refugees. Over the last 10 years she has been traveling, volunteering and working in both East Africa and South East Asia, focusing mostly on psychosocial support for HIV and TB patients. She is most passionate about working with children and adolescents.
Kleio has also participated in emergency programs as a psychologist and project coordinator, related to an earthquake in Athens and a stampede in Phnom Penh. In addition to MSF, she has worked for local NGOs in countries where she lived in the past, as well as for the French Red Cross and for the IFRC reference center for psychosocial support in Copenhagen as technical advisor. Having just finished a one-year “working break” in Europe, she felt it was time to go back to the field to work on HIV and DR-TB issues.
Robyn Mosdell is Strategic Resources Manager for SAMU, having an educational background in psychology and development. She has been employed in the South African NPO sector for over 20 years, focusing on a variety of different issues, including life skills education, counseling, financial oversight, operational and human resource (HR) management, and organisational development. Robyn’s experience has been gathered across South Africa, with stints in Johannesburg, Grahamstown, Worcester and Cape Town.
Robyn enjoys the beauty of the Western Cape, and tries to get out into the country whenever possible. The splendor of South Africa is never far from her mind and the development of both the country and the people have been motivating forces throughout her career.
Tandi is proudly South African, based in Cape Town and working for SAMU as the Training Unit Administrator. She is one of the few red roses amongst the thorny men in her office. Tandi manages the smooth running of the SAMU office.
Tandi has a Marketing diploma which strengthens her organisational skills. She has chosen the route of law as a part time student with the dream of becoming a Humanitarian lawyer…….. and possibly eventually working in MSF projects.