Personal Statement Of Public Health Research Essay

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Statement of Purpose
I’d fallen ill while visiting my grandparents in the northern part of Nigeria and was taken to a 2-room health facility where I witnessed an unfathomable scene. In the hallway, lying on a wooden bench, a pregnant woman moaned loudly, in labor. Tossing and turning, she flinched in pain as she reached around the rusted nails protruding from the bench while simultaneously following the midwife’s directions. For many weeks, I couldn’t get the image out of my head. I remember thinking, ‘Why was she giving birth on a wooden bench? Are there no beds?’ Of course, as I advanced in my education in the world of healthcare, I came to realize that those were deceptively simple questions that delved into issues of access to quality healthcare in low resource settings. This and other questions drove me to research and birthed my interest in public health.

My first true introduction to public health research is working with marginalized and vulnerable populations who are often faced with limited access to healthcare. I became intrigued working with this group when I realized they faced limited access to HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) services. As a young researcher, I was curious to understand the risk factors that increased the high burden (25%) of HIV among men who have sex with men (MSM) living in Nigeria. There was limited research to inform program interventions. Yet, other high risk groups (female sex workers and injecting drug users) were
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