The role of women in the health field, and in turn in the management of the pandemic in Puerto Rico, was recognized today by figures in the field of health, communication and teaching.
“75 percent of health workers in Puerto Rico are women and 80 percent of caregivers are women,” highlighted the director of the Vaccination Program of the Department of Health, Iris Cardona, one of the panelists of the Women discussion on the front lines of the pandemic, organized by Albizu University.
Cardona added that 80 percent of epidemiologists in the country are women and that within the Department of Health there are many women with leadership roles, in areas such as environmental health and airport tracking.
Also participating in the activity that took place within the framework of Women’s Month, the former director of the Municipal Research and Contact Tracing System, Fabiola Cruz; the journalist Aixa Vázquez and the clinical psychologist and professor at Universidad Albizu, María Vélez, who shared their experiences with the management of the pandemic from their respective work roles.
For his part, Cruz, who began with the tracking system in his municipality in Villalba, and was later expanded to the 78 towns, recognized the participation of women in the management of covid-19.
“In this pandemic in Puerto Rico, the impact of women has been felt in terms of leadership and mentoring. Most of the epidemiologists in the tracking system are women, and likewise from the Department of Health, there are many women in important leadership positions ”, the epidemiologist acknowledged.
Likewise, Vázquez, a journalist in Noticentro al Amanacer, affirmed that in the field of communications women also dominate and went further by highlighting that “the face of health on television is that of women”, by accentuating the contribution of women. women in the field of health journalism.
On the other hand, the women shared some of the experiences of this last year with the arrival of the covid-19.
In the case of Cardona, who is also a doctor by profession, he addressed the sacrifice of health professionals to care for patients, to the point where there have been deaths. In addition, she addressed the death of a friend due to covid-19.
“In November I received a call from a friend regarding her covid test. He had been feeling ill for days, the illness was advanced and on Christmas Day I received the news of his death. The first person he called was me, ”he recalled. He also recalled those early days of the lockdown, when little information was known about how the virus spread and the evidence was scarce.
While Cruz mentioned how in his town, the covid had caused anxiety and stress in the population, due to the lack of information. “It was through a sound bus that we oriented the population,” he said.
For Dr. Vélez, the greatest impact was learning to give continuity to psychological services in an agile way even in the middle of a confinement and Vázquez pointed to the changes that were generated in the media: such as the use of Zoom-type digital tools for women. interviews and the use of tripods to bring the microphones closer to the interviewees.
On the other hand, the group of women, let it be known what actions they take to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Cardona said that he adopted the phrase “Calm in the soul” every time tension levels rise, he drinks his coffee without any interruption in the morning, thanks and meditates daily. For his part, Cruz acknowledged that at first, due to the workload, she neglected herself, but she has already organized and established schedules to perform tasks, to exercise and to rest.