Jovana Alexandra Ocampo Cañas is a professor at the Universidad de Los Andes where she works with communities to establish horizontal dialogues, and build with them the best alternatives, empowering their capacities and skills to make all initiatives sustainable over time according to community resources.
Prior to this, she worked with the United Nations on issues related to poverty, discrimination, violence, and gender violence. This experience helped give her better tools to develop public health initiatives that do not cause harm in communities.
She has over twenty years of experience working with complex health problems in Colombia. She spent much of her career working in contexts of high vulnerability, such as the development of initiatives and projects with indigenous women and girls from the Amazon rainforest, sex workers from the capital of Colombia, and LGBTI populations on issues of HIV and Tuberculosis.
These experiences allowed Cañas to work with and help strengthen grassroots organizations, especially those for women, girls, and adolescents on issues related to sexual and reproductive rights and gender-based violence, issues common to the vast majority of women in the above-mentioned contexts and which are compounded by disease situations such as breast cancer. These experiences over the past twenty years have contributed to a better vision of what should be done in terms of promotion and prevention for all citizens of Colombia and to formulate models of comprehensive health care for different populations in the national territory.
Cañas trained as a physician and holds a master’s degree in public health.