SILVIA BIGNAMINI: Born in Monza in 1975, she graduated with a degree in Medicine and Surgery in 2000 and specialized in Hygiene and Preventive Medicine in 2004 at the University of Milan-Bicocca. She lived and worked in Africa for 12 years, first in Zimbabwe and then in Mozambique. She is committed to the fight against AIDS and malaria, which are the leading causes of mortality in these countries.
In 2015, she completed a Master’s degree with the University of Liverpool in International Management of Health Systems. Her international professional development and experience ranges from work as a physician in the field, to that of consultant for healthcare management, and finally to her work with the WHO, where she dealt with planning and monitoring of health systems. She returned to Italy permanently in 2018, and later started working as a medical director of a religious healthcare institution in Bergamo where she experienced the Covid-19 virus epidemic first hand.
The story contained in this book is that of a life path guided by the search for challenging situations and oriented towards helping those most in need. The attraction to Africa, since childhood, is the motivation to become a doctor. The willingness to change and to experience out-of-the-ordinary contexts, shared also with her partner, pushes her to various departures and returns. The book describes events and moments that have determined and characterized her personal and professional behaviour. The notes do not follow a chronological order but one of emotional and motivational connections. Life choices are driven by the values of service to others and the desire for continuous learning. The positive examples of some of the directors she has met are included, while the lights and shadows of the systems and organizations in which the author worked are also highlighted. The recent occurrence of the pandemic in Italy makes her relive sensations she dealt with during some African experiences, which she treasures in order to courageously face the changes that the virus requires from us today.