Motivations / Experience / Humanity


Nicolas CANTAU

Over the past twenty years, Nicolas Cantau was involved in international assistance, development and public health programming in various environments and regions of the world. Currently Nicolas works for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria as Regional Manager for Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Prior to his involvement with the Global Fund in 2008, Nicolas held various positions within Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) from 1992 to 2003, in Russia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Somalia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan and Serbia. For five years, from 2003 to 2008, he was the Regional Director of the Dutch organisation AIDS Foundation East West (AFEW) in Central Asia. Nicolas also worked as Technical Officer for the World Health Organisation Office in Russia, in the Tuberculosis Control Department at the Unit of Policy and Strategy Development. He has been member of the MSF Switzerland Board from 2012 to 2015. He has a Master in International Humanitarian Assistance Emergency-Rehabilitation (2004 - Law Faculty, University of Aix-Marseille III, France) and the Diploma of International Development Officer (1994 - Institut Bioforce, Lyon, France).

EPIONA founding project aims at developing palliative care in Ukraine and opens essential and appropriate channels in order to encourage solidarity towards the elderly and/or disadvantaged with the view of bringing about fundamental changes based on a universal access to care
— Nicola Cantau


A political scientist by training, Urban Weber, Ph. D., dedicates his professional life to public health and international development.

He worked for a non-governmental organisation in Germany on HIV prevention among drug users in the nineties of the last century. In 2000, he moved to Moscow to coordinate the HIV prevention efforts of the Dutch section of Doctors without Borders (Médecins sans Frontières) in Russia and Central Asia. While in Russia, he was attracted to the United Nation's HIV program UNAIDS and served as technical advisor.

Since 2003, shortly after its inception, Urban works with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. He held positions of increasing managerial responsibility, covering Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, and Asia. Today, he oversees the Fund’s activities in the most populous Asian countries.

Urban believes that ageing in dignity should be the norm. But he also feels we are not quite there, yet.


With more than 25 years experience in the field of communication, Carole Ballanfat started practicing her profession with an eclectic approach, first by working for large multinational corporations specialised in very cutting edge fields, such as microelectronics, then in the Event industry for cultural establishments, such as the Cannes Film Festival, in which she has been involved every year for the past 28 years. Such versatility as well as her personal interests for public health induced her in 2002 to join the team at the Fédération Dentaire Internationale, an organisation specialized in oral health. First, Carole worked in developing scientific programmes and promoting congresses, and then she became responsible for the communication with the countries and member associations of the organisation. In 2011, she got involved in the fight against Noma - a neglected and preventable disease that affects severely undernourished children – by working for Winds of Hope, a humanitarian Foundation where she was in charge of communication and involved in the management of projects. Since 2014 Carole works for The Aidgency SA a company that offers services to NGOs.

Carole believes that “little brooks make great rivers”. To this end, she promotes synergies between people, organisations and the
actions resulting from them.


An anaesthetist by training, Andrej Slavuckij specialised in public health at the University of Birmingham, Alabama (USA). Lithuanian of Ukrainian origin, he has worked in the field for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for 22 years as Programme Manager and more recently until August 2013 as Deputy Medical Director for Operations in MSF Geneva. In September of the same year, he moved to the Kiev Office of the World Health Organisation as Medical Officer for MDR TB*, TB and TB/HIV (*Multi-drug-resistant Tuberculosis). Having been involved throughout the world with the victims of armed conflicts, natural disasters and epidemics, Andrej is pleased to be able to put his expertise at the service of the inhabitants of his country of origin in the context of EPIONA’s pilot project in Kiev, Ukraine.

Andrej graduated as Medical Doctor (MD) (1982 - Tartu State University, Estonia) and has a Master in Public Health (MPH) (2000 - University of Alabama, Birmingham, USA).

Andrej’s motivations are profoundly humane. His aim is to create a system with competent and highly trained multidisciplinary teams that could get totally involved in supporting patients and their