The 2018 HSP Futures Fellowship is now underway! The fellowship kicked off with a training institute (June 25-28) in Baku, Azerbaijan where the cohort met with HSP staff, mentors and health security experts. This cohort includes early career scientists from across Pakistan, and tasked them with brainstorming health security project ideas.
Two fellows in particular stood out, Dr. Muhammad Awais Zia, MBBS, FCPS, PGPN and Dr. Noman Bashir, DVM. Muhammad comes from a human health background, while Noman comes from an animal health background. Together, these two were able to come up with a comprehensive One Health project proposal, and epitomized the foundation of the Health Security Futures Fellowship.
Below is an account of their experience working together at the Training Institute:
“The HSP Futures Fellowship is a unique and prestigious learning opportunity for Pakistani students. Our selection as Health Security Futures Fellows was truly a dream come true. Throughout this fellowship, we met with our honorable mentors and other fellows during the week of June 25-28, 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan. Our cohort was a mixture of fellows from different parts of Pakistan, including many underprivileged areas. The enthusiasm of every fellow to learn was something very enchanting for us. This was a journey of learning, making new friends and enjoying the culture of Azerbaijan.
Feelings can’t be written – we just can feel it.
During the training session, we were patched up in a group. We were tasked with coming up with an idea that addresses a common health security challenge in Pakistan, and that also matched with our fields of work. Being novice to health security, we initially had a very tough time reaching an understanding of the importance of people from different sectors coming together to address health security issues. However, with the kind guidance of our mentors and our spirit to do something innovative for the benefit of mankind, we kept discussing new ideas and ways to come up with a project of common interest.
Finally, after a lot of hard work and sacrificing sleep and enjoyment, we came up with an innovative idea:
“The Biorisk Assessment of Household Animals of Rural Areas and its Impact on Paediatric Health: The One Health Approach.”
We were specially chosen for the “Two Medicine to One Health ” program that is going to make a difference initially on a small scale and can later be scaled up to benefit large masses. We are hopeful that this project idea will make an impact on the lives of people living in rural areas. We are excited to work on this project and hope that it will be accepted after a competitive process.
We are thankful to the HSP team and mentors for providing us this platform. Most of fellows were traveling abroad for the first time for this kind of training and their excitement and zeal for learning was evident from the kind of projects they came up with at the end of the training institute. We wish them the best for their project proposals.
Being mentored by health security experts was a very rewarding experience and we are very excited to make final project proposals under the guidance of mentors, while attending webinars throughout this year. This trip was the most memorable experience in our academic and professional life and we hope we will get the most out of it.
We also hope that we will make a difference in the well being of Pakistan and Healthy Earth. Long live Pakistan.
All the best, Futures Fellows!”
Dr.M.Awais Zia (MBBS,FCPS, Child Health Specialist)
Dr. Noman Bashir (Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Animal Health Expert)