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Name: Khalda Abuelgasim

Position Title: Adult Clinical Branch Intern

Location: United States

Technical Expertise: HIV/AIDS,Data analysis and Visualization,Family Planning and Reproductive Health

Scope of Work

Khalda Abuelgasim is the Adult Clinical Branch Intern. She works in USAID's Global Health Bureau (GH), in the Prevention, Care and Treatment Division (PCT) of the Office of HIV/AIDS (OHA).

Background

Khalda Abuelgasim was born in the United States but lived most of her life in Sudan, where she studied medicine. During her time in university she developed a deep interest in public health. She felt that it was important to find ways to prevent illness, discrimination, and stigma because they caused an immense burden, not only on individuals, but also on society as a whole. This burden was even heavier for people living in low-income settings where information and resources are limited. She decided to join the Standing Committee on Sexual and Reproductive Health including HIV and AIDS (SCORA – a division of the International Federation of Medical Students Associations) because it focused on sensitive issues that were rarely discussed in the community, although they were of extreme importance. Through a number of different projects, the group started to raise awareness on many issues, including HIV/AIDS, gender-based violence, and female genital mutilation. For a country with no sexual education in schools, projects like the secondary school AIDS program were the only source of information for youth, not only regarding HIV, but a variety of reproductive health topics.

After graduating, Khalda completed her medical internship, then went on to work in a number of NGOs as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) before moving to Sweden to pursue a master’s in international health at Uppsala University. She hopes to create sustainable forms of preventive medicine in the field of reproductive health and play an active role in reproductive health policy making, particularly in low-income countries.