Stories

As he bicycles past his neighbors, the young man waves and smiles. He has no time to chat-he is on a mission. Five days a week and without fail, he arrives at Brazil's Saracuruna Municipal Health Center in Rio de Janeiro state to take his tuberculosis (TB) medications under the watchful eye of the family health team. Thanks to the new TB diagnosis and treatment program established in this municipality in 2003, this young patient is motivated to complete his treatment. The clinic is close to his home and the staff knows him and encourages him.

Dressed in worn clothing, a woman with a child in her arms opens the door of her rundown apartment to welcome in a nurse bringing tuberculosis (TB) medication for her family. The woman, a widow and mother of five, is unemployed and can not afford to travel to the local clinic. It is essential to take TB medication regularly, therefore, a nurse visits the family three times a week to bring them medication and to make sure they take it.

Born in 1949 in Rangoon, Burma, Dr. San San Min had a childhood of privilege and entitlement. As the daughter of Rangoon's mayor, San San grew up with servants and tutors. However, her parents understood and accepted the civic duties that came with that lifestyle. Her father's open-door policy of actively listening to the needs of the community and her mother's insistence that San San and her siblings assume many household chores gave San San Min a platform to make the professional choices she has made.

Pages