Spector in Sudan

I'm friends with a pediatrician involved with Medicins Sans Frontieres, Doctors without Borders. During his residency training he went to Venezuela and Southeast Asia, and before starting his practice he went to Angola. This summer he finds himself in the midst of the atrocities in the Sudan.

I've learned a lot about the situation there reading Ingrid Jones's blog, and that of her associate Jim Moore at Passion of the Present. Before he left, Moore and I (independently) approached my friend about blogging from the Sudan. We thought it would raise awareness and make for compelling reading, at a time when the media was not putting much effort into coverage.

He declined, citing security concerns and MSF's own publicity efforts.

Well, a few months have passed, and the press is starting to give the genocide crisis the attention it deserves. CNN has sent its chief international correspondent, Christiane Amanpour, into the Darfur war zone. I'm not surprised she found my telegenic friend:

Dr. Jonathan Spector is at war with malnutrition -- Darfur's biggest killer.

Spector is midway through a stint for the aid group Médecins Sans Frontières in Al-Geneina, the capital of western Darfur.

He is a long way from his pediatric practice back in Boston.

"In a developed country this child would be in intensive care, he would be on monitors, oxygen, a ventilator," Spector says as he examines an infant...

...In another tent, Spector relishes a success. "She's so much better, she looks marvelous," he says after examining a child.

But it's only a small success in a desperate bid to save about 2 million people in urgent need of food and medical aid.

Spector and MSF continue to inspire, and because of them, the word is getting out. Diplomats are doing there thing, but this week the Sudanese government has countered with accusations, lies, and propaganda. They don't want to stop, or negotiate.

I've heard so much about the benefits of a UN-led, multilateral approach to world crises -- let's hope it's not all talk.

UPDATE: A slightly longer transcript is available, by NewsCenter 5's Kelley Tuthill.