Francesc Mateu at the Coffee Colloquium on the refugee crisis: "When you're scared, broaden your perspective"
Francesc Mateu, the Director of Intermón Oxfam in Catalonia was the special guest at the first Coffee Colloquium on public health for this academic year, organised by the Albert J. Jovell Institute for Public Health and Patients at UIC Barcelona. This first topic-driven meeting, attended by more than thirty people including professors, students and non-teaching staff, dealt with the issue of the refugee crisis in Europe from the point of view of healthcare.
Mateu brought along some pictures to the colloquium to illustrate the topic and the debate immediately opened up with questions from the attendees. The Director of Intermón Oxfam in Catalonia tackled one of the key points of the crisis when he referred to the lack of global and long-term action from both governments and governors of states. In this sense he said that "we must demand our governments broaden their perspective". Dr Maria Dolores Navarro, the instigator of these get-togethers, asked Mateu for a piece of final advice for attendees and he repeated the session's leitmotiv: "when you are afraid, broaden your perspective". He also asked people not to simply read headlines but to look behind them at specific people in order to resolve unjust situations at their source.