SDG 3: Good health and well-being
Saima graduated from Rawalpindi Medical College in Pakistan and obtained her diploma and Master’s degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. After completing her studies, Saima worked as Gender Officer in UNHCR Afghanistan, as well as Medical Officer in University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia.
Saima joined UNV in Jordan in May 2017 as UN Volunteer Associate Public Health Officer at UNHCR, and recently finished her one-year assignment.
Women in South Africa give birth to 2.3 children on average translating to a population growth of 1.6 per cent. While South Africa’s fertility rate is substantially lower than those of other African countries (in Ethiopia, for example, women have an average of 4.2 children), it is also considerably higher than in countries of the Global North where most countries show rates of below two children. At the same time, teenage pregnancies are prevalent with nearly 7 per cent of 15 to 19-year old girls giving birth (in comparison, the UK rate is at just over 2 per cent).
Through this partnership, specialized professionals and young people from diverse backgrounds have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge and gain/share experience with WHO.
This is a win for everyone. Volunteers bring valuable skills and experience, and we boost our collective strength to support communities in the area of public health, which benefits our work and the ultimate goal of more healthy people throughout the world. --Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General
Nicaragua suffered a terrible civil war in the 1980s. The city where I was born was one of the main centres of the conflict. Consequently, I grew up amidst political instability and economic hardship.
Witnessing the vast unmet needs of our population inspired me to volunteer for several projects committed to improving health and sanitation in remote communities of Nicaragua.
I serve as a UN Volunteer in Laos focusing on public health issues, which I have always felt passionate about. I work towards ending three diseases that can have fatal outcomes for the people of Laos.