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Nyasha Sanie

Masters in Public Health, University College Cork

Nyasha works as a Projects Officer with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, where she has worked on health policy advocacy. She received a fellowship award in 2017-18 to study on the Masters in Public Health at University College Cork.

Before coming to Ireland, I was working as a Project Officer at Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). My role as a project officer at ZLHR included working with key populations such as people living with HIV, Sex workers and the LGBTI community in the strategic area of sexual reproductive health rights, access to health care and other HIV/AIDS related matters. These engagements enable the formulation of advocacy programs and these are linked with a litigation strategy to better facilitate the right to health care as well as the promotion and protection of rights of the mentioned populations. One of the projects I lead in implementation focuses on empowerment of women and the reduction of Gender based violence. This is funded by Irish Aid through Trocaire and this is how I got to have an opportunity to apply for the Irish Aid Fellowship Programme.

In Ireland I am currently enrolled at University College Cork where I am pursuing a Masters in Public Health. The bulk of my work at ZLHR relates to public health hence me pursuing this qualification because I believe it will widen my scope and positively impact on my work. With a vast knowledge in public health, I will continue working with key populations to facilitate social inclusion and access to health care leveraged on the right to health as stated in the constitution of Zimbabwe.

Towards the end of my course I will carry out a research in fulfilment of the requirements of the course and my focus will be on carrying out a qualitative research on access to treatment and adherence among sex workers in a peri-urban set up. This research I hope will go a long way in strengthening the evidence to be used for advocating for the decriminalisation of sex work in Zimbabwe.

I hope to benefit immensely from being an Irish Aid fellow by taking advantage of the time I am in Ireland to learn as much as I can from organisations that implement similar work to the one I do back home. This will enable me to take the lessons back home for the improvement of the lives of the communities I work in. Through a Masters in Public Health qualification, I hope to use the acquired research skills to formulate advocacy strategies which are evidence based. This I believe is crucial as I venture deeper into health promotion as a public health practitioner.