International Women's Day

Interview with Dr. Eva Luz Martínez Bermúdez

Interview with Dr. Eva Luz Martínez Bermúdez Director of Animal Health at the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria in Peru and OIE Delegate

In commemoration of International Women’s Day, we interviewed Dr Eva Luz Martinez Bermudez, Director of Animal Health at the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria (SENASA) of Peru and OIE Delegate, about her career, the challenges that women face in her sector and her recommendations for women choosing a career in veterinary medicine.

1. What’s does your current job consist of?

Nowadays, I’m the Director of Animal Health at the Servicio Nacional de Sanidad Agraria (SENASA) in Perú.

My job consists of planning, running, and coordinating: the 3 sub-directorates: Animal Quarantine, Disease Control and Eradication, Risk Analysis, and Epidemiological Surveillance; 25 executive directorates which are distributed nationwide; activities related to epidemiological surveillance, control and eradication of diseases in order to protect and improve the animal health status of our country and therefore public health.

Another task is to promote and participate in international negotiation groups on sanitary matters for the access of our animal products to the international market.

We also promote private participation in animal health activities and establishing cooperation mechanisms with producers.

2. What do you enjoy more about your job?

The scope of the work we do in the field and/or in the office translates into the service we provide for the benefit of our users, ranging from a small livestock producer to an exporter.

Making field visits, contacting livestock producers from different socio-cultural and technological realities, attending to notifications, monitoring diseases, programming and executing sanitary or vaccination calendars and participating in national and international negotiation groups in sanitary matters in order to manage access to new markets for animal products.

3. What inspired you to pick this career?

I believe it was the early contact with agriculture and the small family livestock business run by my grandmother.

Also, my father influenced my decision to choose a career in veterinary medicine.

4. What advice would you give to young women entering this profession/field?

That they investigate and become aware of the different fields of action of our profession and their importance, not only in animal health but also in public health.

And furthermore, to always be motivated and dedicated in whatever they undertake or choose to do within the veterinary career to achieve their goals as professionals.

5. How can women support other women in animal health?

By providing other women with opportunities to develop in their profession, on equal terms with men, and strengthening their capacities and skills, so that they feel committed and confident in taking on responsibilities and can make the best decisions.

6. What challenges do women veterinarians face in your region?

The challenges are big, on the side of the profession we have challenges such as the prevention of zoonotic diseases, the high demand for animal protein, the strengthening of animal welfare policies currently in demand and antimicrobial resistance, are increasingly demanding challenges. To these challenges, we need to add that as women veterinarians we have to continue to make our way in a society in which we have not yet achieved equal participation, as we continue to develop professionally without neglecting our role in the family.

7. In your opinion, which changes, if any, are needed in the animal health sector to be more attractive to women?

I believe that in recent times more opportunities are being given, for example at SENASA Peru, in animal health, women veterinarians represent approximately 48%; however, I do believe that society must continue to evolve and accept the participation of women, promoting equal opportunities and participation in the political and economic life of the country.