LeMSIC on the Devaluation and Stigmatization of Efforts towards SRHR Awareness:
On March 7, 2021, one of our mentors, Dr. Sandrine Atallah, was presented on national television in hopes to spread awareness on sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) topics in a constructive discussion backed by evidence-based data and years of clinical experience.
In LeMSIC, under the Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights including HIV & AIDS (SCORA), we aim to increase awareness on topics that have been deemed as a taboo within our society – topics that Dr. Atallah has been discussing adamantly throughout the years. Dr. Atallah has always provided the general public, patients, colleagues, and medical students with the insight needed on becoming the more aware and well-rounded global health advocates with emphasis on SRHR topics that our society deserves.
However, the discussion held with Dr. Atallah was biased and misogynistic in nature. It left no room for a physician to provide detailed and well-informed responses to important concerns. The LeMSIC community is disheartened by the stigmatized and one-sided discussion that one of our mentors had to endure. It is the role of the media to support all efforts dedicated towards awareness on all topics especially on those that require a cultural reset within the mentality of its society.
The LeMSIC community condemns such actions and vows to continue with its mission of empowering medical students and the general public. We hope through that to support Dr. Atallah’s vision of a community in which SRHR topics are discussed freely, and the public feels secure enough to seek care when needed without the fear of stigmatization.
Taking a stand against this incident, LeMSIC calls to action:
- All media platforms to support all physicians and global health advocates in their endeavours to raise awareness on important and taboo topics especially SRHR;
- The relevant Non-Governmental Organizations to develop action plans to enhance the efforts aiming to destigmatize SRHR;
- The Syndicate of Physicians to take a clear stance on the incident condemning such actions that attack a fellow colleague;
- The relevant national broadcasting station to issue a statement to the general public debunking all the inaccurate and misogynistic claims mentioned with plans targeted to improve their efforts towards raising awareness on SRHR topics ;
- All Physicians to become more informed on the topics of SRHR in hopes to multiply the efforts done by Dr. Atallah throughout the years.