proFreads: Watching the World Cup from the Infectious Disease Ward

Photo credit: Halley Pacheco de Oliveira

In 2014, Erika Robb Larkins, Director of the Brazilian Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma was living in Rio de Janeiro with her young family, finishing her book about violence in Rocinha favela, when her husband Michael contracted meningitis. With no health insurance, he was at the mercy of the sistema único de saúde, the government funded public health system. In her poignant essay in Anthropology and Humanism, Erika talks about the Brazilian healthcare system, the importance of personal connections in Brazil and the heartbreak of mothering two small children while her husband lay close to death in an underfunded hospital in a foreign country.

Read her story here.