This video of Dr Mayara Floss – rural doctor in Brazil and passionate advocate for international rural health – has recently been publicised via the Rural WONCA email list by Dr John Wynn Jones, chair of the WONCA Working Party on Rural Health.
Mayara was invited to give her perspective on the issue of “Investing in rural health workers for the economic participation and empowerment of rural women and girls” at a meeting of the joint Commission on the Status of Women: a side-event of the World Health Organisation, International Labour Organisation, Permanent Mission of Ireland to the United Nations and Women in Global Health.
John introduced the video more eloquently than I could, and so with his permission, here’s what he said:
I want to congratulate Mayara and thank her on behalf of Rural Wonca and all the rural health workers around the world for her presentation and wise words at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Mayara is an exceptional person. I can’t even call her a future leader because despite the fact that this is her first year as a doctor she is already a world leader and an example to us all. It will be the Mayara’s of this world who will take up the mantle for the next generation and its our duty to support them.
Please look at the video of her session. She describes how medical schools in the largely rural country of Brazil do little to promote and teach rural health care. She eloquently describes her own journey against the odds and her quest to work among rural communities and the barriers that she encountered. Everyone needs to watch her presentation!
During the panel session she implores us first to listen to our patients and are communities before coming up with ” so called helpfull solutions”.
She also asks us to think about the political tragedy that is happening in Brazil and the dismantling of one of the most enlightened primary care systems in the world and its replacement with private health.
We are all very proud of her and the many other members of Rural Seeds who are working so hard around the world to build their careers and make a difference for rural communities.
Mayara speaks in the video below for 20 minutes, at 30 minutes in, and there are subsequent (excellent!) contributions to the discussion thereafter.