Ana Leticia Nery
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Telling Stories of Crises
While working as an emergency physician in Iraq with Doctors Without Borders in 2017, Ana Leticia Nery cared for an elderly man who was injured in a bombing during the Battle of Mosul. Compared to many other patients she saw that day, his wounds weren’t severe; after treating his sprained arm, she discharged him from the hospital.
But some time later, she saw that he was still standing outside. When Nery and her translator asked him what was wrong, he told them that he had nowhere to go—his family lay dead in the rubble of their home.
“I thought, I am keeping people alive, but am I really saving lives?” she wonders.
“How is their health and well-being compromised, and what is the impact on their livelihood and quality of life in the short- and long-term? These seem obvious questions but in remote and conflict-torn settings they are often left unanswered.”
Nery has worked in war-torn and disaster-struck settings around the world, including Ethiopia, Liberia, Yemen, Palestine, Nigeria, and Mozambique. More recently, she served in the emergency room of one of Brazil’s largest hospitals, witnessing the devastation of COVID-19 firsthand.
In each of these settings, Nery says, people living the tragedies that she sees need their stories told to influence policy and develop interventions—and the most effective story is scientific evidence.
“How is their health and well-being compromised, and what is the impact on their livelihood and quality of life in the short- and long-term?” asks Nery, whose MPH program focuses on humanitarian health and epidemiology. “These seem obvious questions but in remote and conflict-torn settings they are often left unanswered.”
Sao Paulo, Brazil
MD, University of Sao Paulo, 2013