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FSRH staff spotlight: Camila Azevedo, External Affairs Manager
Date: 20 May 2021
Author: Camila Azevedo
It’s been four years since I joined FSRH’s External Affairs team after working in media, policy and advocacy in countries such as Brazil, Jamaica and Thailand. It is a pleasure to be the first staff member spotlighted on the FSRH blog, and I hope I can share a little of what I do, as External Affairs Manager, to raise FSRH’s profile across the UK.
You are probably asking yourself “but what is External Affairs?”.
External Affairs is a broad field including strategic functions such as public and parliamentary affairs, policy and media relations. People like me are responsible for building relationships with politicians, regulators, the Government, the press, like-minded organisations and many others. Our aim is to raise awareness of the most important issues impacting Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare (SRH) and FSRH.
We work with policymakers to influence how the healthcare system, policies and legislation could and should look like.
As an example, for years now we have been collaborating with partner organisations to drive change in abortion law in the UK, which still criminalises women if certain legal criteria are not met when accessing abortion care. For us, every woman should be able to access safe and legal abortion care wherever they live in the UK; for us, abortion should be subject to professional standards and regulatory frameworks, not criminal law.
I am proud to say that we have already accrued substantive wins with the introduction of a new legal framework in Northern Ireland effectively decriminalising abortion care as well as the permanent measure allowing women to take the second course of medication (misoprostol) for a medical abortion in the privacy of their homes in England, Scotland and Wales.
I am equally proud to say that we have doubled our media exposure, working with journalists and opinion-makers to raise awareness of clinical and policy issues in Sexual and Reproductive Health.
As FSRH’s media relations lead, I am equally proud to say that we have doubled our media exposure, working with journalists and opinion-makers to raise awareness of clinical and policy issues in Sexual and Reproductive Health. Highlights include coverage of our COVID guidance throughout 2020; extensive national broadcast and print coverage of contraceptive and menopause medicine shortages; the many pieces on our combined contraception and overweight guidelines; and exclusives with national press when we launched the Abortion Factsheet in 2018 and passed our new policy position on decriminalisation of abortion in 2017. You can follow our press coverage via our Twitter channel and members newsletter.
A bit more about me
Now that I’ve told you a little more about what I do at FSRH, I can share what I do outside of the (home) office. In non-COVID times, I love travelling. I’ve been to lots of countries, and have lived in Brazil, where I was born, and also in Sweden, Norway, Jamaica and Thailand. I love music, running, cooking and craft beer - a hobby I picked up working in media and PR for a beer company in another life.
If you ever wish to get in touch, just drop me a line on firstname.lastname@example.org