Michalina Drejza

Michalina Drejza - 2016 Nominee
Position: final year medical student, IFMSA Liaison Officer on Sexual and Reproductive Health issues including HIV/AIDS / IYAFP Country Coordinator
Organization: IFMSA - International Federation of Medical Students Associations / IYAFP - International Youth Alliance on Family Planning
SRHR advocate at high level UN meetings for medical students standing for FP, Researcher on knowledge on FP provision with WHO Department on Reproductive Health and Research, Training facilitator educating new safe abortion providers in 4 continents – Anna Rebeka Szczegielniak, Young Leader at Women Deliver Young Leaders Program
Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

- Working at IFMSA as Director and then Liaison Officer for Sexual and Reproductive Health including HIV/AIDS, coordinating actions of medical students worldwide on advocacy for SRHR for all and head of delegation at high-level meetings building partnerships and coordinating sessions and capacity building trainings
- Coordinated reproductive health and development project with Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in rural clinic in Madagascar
- Intern in WHO Department on Reproductive Health and Research, currently involved in research on medical students' knowledge on family planning
- Young researcher focused on polish adolescents' attitudes towards family planning, passionate peer educator
- Youth scholar for International Conference on Family Planning, Women Deliver and AIDS 2016

What sparked your passion for family planning?

"When she was just a girl
She expected the world
But it flew away from her reach so
She ran away in her sleep
And dreamed of
Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise, Para-para-paradise
Every time she closed her eyes"
(Coldplay - Paradise)
I was always a dreamer.
I imagine a world where people can decide about their bodies.
For young people FAMILY PLANNING does not necessarily mean PLANNING FAMILIES, it is PLANNING THE FUTURE!
Our fight will not stop if the choice is not given to all!

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your family planning efforts, and what have you done to overcome it?

Stigma and myths around the sexuality, family planning and contraception.
Since the beginning of my work around sexual and reproductive health I was called "this girl who always talk about sex" and I wasn't treated seriously in many cases.
My biggest success is the advocacy made in my family, in my hometown and among friends who now see how important family planning issues are.
Let alone all the rest of the world!
Think global, act local is fully applicable to my story!

What is your (country/region/city)’s biggest challenge in family planning, and how can it be addressed?

The biggest challenge in my country is access to comprehensive sexuality education, access to proper family planning services - many of the modern methods are not available to adolescents.
Polish women are still struggling to receive safe abortion services from medical providers even if they are in full right according to the law to get one!
Inclusion of SRHR in medical curriculum is a must! That will help us to have medical providers WE WANT! Zero stigma and discrimination in healthcare!

What do you want to accomplish in the next 5 years?

I want to connect two worlds - as a clinician being Obstetrician/Gynecologist and a passionate global health advocate for sexual and reproductive health rights for all.
My plan is to provide and work on scientific evidence to back up advocacy efforts for inclusion of family planning in medical schools curricula.
Being aware of the global family planning struggles through sharing best practices I want to work for raising awareness on sexual and reproductive justice for polish adolescents.

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