University of KwaZulu-Natal's Mohamed Hoosen Suleman was one of three medical students globally selected to attend the World Health Organisation's highest decision-making body on a scholarship.
Suleman attended both the Youth Pre-World Health Assembly and World Health Assembly (WHA) held at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
A statement from the university said WHA is the WHO’s highest decision-making body, attended by world leaders and delegations of its 194 member states.
A detailed agenda on global health is discussed with a plan of action on priority health areas that countries should focus on is decided in the meeting.
“Suleman personally met and interacted with the director-general of WHO, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, and also engaged with health ministers from different countries, gaining insight into the health challenges in different parts of the world. He describes the experience as overwhelming, given that he was probably the youngest in the room,” said UKZN.
He was also asked to present to the delegation on “Health Emergencies: Preparedness, Response, and Recovery in the South African context”. He further highlighted how South Africa continues to play a leading role in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suleman holds multiple awards and accolades in the medical field, and last year, was awarded UKZN’s Best Student Researcher and Best Student Innovator last year.
Earlier this year, he was appointed as student editor for the International Journal of Medical Students.
BizCommunity reports that he and a neurosurgeon from the University of Cape Town are the only South Africans in the editorial team consisting of 40 junior doctors and medical researchers from across the world. The team will undertake peer reviews into scientific articles that are submitted to the Journal.
Suleman said his appointment to the editorial team would afford him an opportunity to broaden his horizons and harness a critical mindset in research writing.