PHM Brazil Receives Special Visitor

2 Jul 2014

Bolivian doctor Vivian Camacho, member of the People's Health Movement, was in Brazil last April. She visited many cities in several states, exchanging experiences and promoting health. There were many powerful encounters with PHM activists and other health movements, with universities, and with health care workers. From Fortaleza, northeastern Brazil, where she attended the Congress of the Rede Unida, to Porto Alegre, southern end of the country, Vivian participated in various activities, also passing through the states of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.
In Porto Alegre, she attended a meeting of the PHM Brazil group, talked with community health workers who work in the Family Health Strategy, participated in a course on environmental health in the community of Morro da Policia and spoke at the event called Deliveries around the World: Intercultural Experiences. In the latter, promoted by teachers and students of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, she emphasized the importance of women's empowerment, through the protagonist role in childbirth, to defend life. Deliveries with dignity and healthy births are needed to change the world, toward more solidarity. Along with this message, the debate at the university gave space for reflection on the capitalist mode of life, typically individualistic, materialistic, consumerist and its adverse consequences for life. To achieve health comprehensively, it is necessary to protect life in all its forms, and this requires a more integrated way of life, more respectful with nature.
In São Paulo, Vivian was received by the comrades of the PHM Brazil and the National Forum of Black Women. She went to several cities, where events on humanized birth were organized in universities (University of Sao Paulo, University of ABC and University of Campinas). Moreover, she visited public entities to assist women, raising awareness of the importance of humanized childbirth. For Vivian, you need to understand health not as a commodity, appreciating everything that is alive around us, not only humans. We need to recover the sacred space of childbirth.
At the end of her visit, Vivian left the following reflection: Each place in Brazil filled me with great hope and alegremia, sharing their knowledge, their stories and their struggles for health as a human right. So many activities with art, with poetry, with chants, with African rituals showed me once again that health is the shared experience of beauty and the loving respect for life. The strength of our ancestors and ancestral medicine should be promoted as a viable and urgent option to return the heart to emerging societies. Respecting differences should be a coherent daily action to achieve the decent, free and united world we dream possible.
And so, with encounters like this, that promote the sharing of militant experiences and possible dreams, we continuously build the Peoples' Health Movement.

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