By Benjamin Flowers: Dr. Natalia Beer is no stranger to the media. The Maternal and Child Health (MCH) Advisor for the Ministry of Health and Wellness (MOHW) has been seen on many newscasts promoting various aspects of health and issuing some caution or the other to keep the public safe all throughout the year that was. This consistent dedication to the betterment of people has earned our respect and the recognition of Breaking Belize News’ Woman of the Year 2021.
A career public servant, Dr. Beer has been the MCH Advisor for the Belize’s Health Ministry since 2003. During her 18 years of service, she has been a devoted advocate of vaccination for children to prevent life-threatening conditions such as measles, mumps, and rubella, and getting young girls the HPV vaccine to guard them against cervical cancer and other forms of cancer later in life.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit Belize, Beer was initially a part of the technocrats developing protocols and training ministry staff to better equip them to serve the public in those chaotic times. In the second half of 2020, Dr. Beer rose to the challenge of assisting the MOHW with the national COVID-19 response taking on a more upfront role and interacting with the media to get out pertinent information. She notes that the task has been filled with seemingly-endless days, but she has persevered through a strong sense of duty.
“This year was really challenging in the sense that you had to get out of your comfort zone to be part of the response,” Beer said. “We do it firstly because it is our duty as public servants, and secondly because of the people.”
While moved by the recognition for being named woman of the year, Beer took the opportunity to salute her fellow health sector colleagues, particularly the front-liners.
“I would like to really big up the staff that is dealing directly with the patients. Without them, we wouldn’t be here today,” Beer added.
Breaking Belize News salutes Dr. Beer and joins with the rest of Belize in thanking her for her unwavering service and commitment to the health and safety of the nation.