Associate Professor Sandra Oyarzo Torres
Sandra Oyarzo Torres has been working with communities across Latin and Central America promoting and advocating for sexual and reproductive health rights, in her role as professor and International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) Board Member. Sandra has been a midwife for 27 years and dedicated herself to Primary Health Care and Universal Health Coverage in Latin America. She is a champion of gender equality in her community and across the region, educating women, midwives and community about the importance of sexual and reproductive health care.
She has trained thousands of midwives across the Americas. She has dedicated herself in upskilling and providing workshops on strengthening sexual and reproductive healthcare in the region. This has had a direct impact in improving the quality of midwifery care for sexual and reproductive health for women.
As a teacher and lecturer of the Faculty of Medicine. University of Chile. Department of Education in Health Science (DECSA), Sandra developed curricula that have a strong focus on community work, encouraging her students to work in their communities and to have an improved and empathetic understanding of the context of the communities in which they work in, and also she has supported and moved forward the work of Galia Díaz Riffo Foundation in her country working in isolated communities.
Sandra is an educationist and advocate; she has paved the way for midwifery regulation in Latin America by continuously educating her fellow midwives inside and outside the classroom about the vital need for every midwife to deliver quality and respectful maternity care, based on evidence. She has advocated and worked with government officials across the region. Notably, her advocacy in Mexico led to the change of policies and rules that regulate professional midwifery in the country. Also, in her home country of Chile, Sandra worked with colleagues to establish national policies on the quality of life, sexual and reproductive health and the participation of midwives, being VP of the Chilean Midwives Association Board. Because of her work, she was elected as one of the WGH Heroines of Health 2019 and has started the steps to become the first WGH Chapter in Latin America based in Chile.