Greek Surgeon Named Head of Doctors Without Borders

Αssociated Press

FILE - In this Thursday June 23, 2016 file photo, Migrants aboard a dinghy in the Mediterranean Sea wait to be rescued by members of the aid group Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and the rescue group SOS Mediterranee Rescuers of SOS Mediterranee. (AP Photo/Bram Janssen, File)

Noted Greek surgeon Christos Christou, the head of the Greek branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), or Doctors Without Borders, was elected head of the the international humanitarian agency which sends physicians around the world to help the disadvantaged.

MSF said Christou was elected in June and has already assumed his post without explaining why the announcement wasn't made until three months later.

Christou was born in Trikala, in central Greece, and was graduated from Aristotle University’s medical school in Thessaloniki, going on to get a PhD in surgery from the University of Athens, where is also did a masters in health crisis management, said Kathimerini.

He specialized in emergency surgery and worked at King’s College Hospital and North Middlesex University Hospital in the UK, joining MSF at the same time in 2002, and was sent back to his home country as a field doctor, working with migrants and refugees. He then worked as a doctor in an HIV/AIDS project in Zambia in 2004-05, returning to field missions in 2013 and working in conflict zones including South Sudan, Iraq and, most recently, Cameroon.

Christou was First General Secretary, then Vice-President and finally President of MSF Greece from 2005 until stepping up to the lead the international organization and its work.