World Health Organization, Switzerland May 13, 2013 – July 12, 2013
Interning with the WHO Emergency and Essential Surgical Care (EESC) program, Mona worked on a project to help further efforts to improve women’s health and reduce death and disability from injuries, infectious diseases, disasters, and cancer in over 35 low and middle-income countries (LMICs). Mona’s projects focused on reducing gender gaps in health, particularly working to improve women’s health outcomes and ensure they get the surgical, obstetric, and anesthetic care they need when pregnant or injured. She focused on strengthening efforts in LMICs to provide maternal care and manage pregnancy-related complications; care for injuries from burns, violence, road-traffic, and female genital mutilation; and anesthetic care related to obstetrics and post-operative pain. She also assisted in: a) conducting data analysis and preparing country reports and papers; b) developing health workforce training curricula to address gender-based health inequities in surgical care; and c) facilitating the WHO’s Global Initiative for EESC’s interdisciplinary network. Strengthening EESC and services is integral to improving maternal health and a key element of primary care, central to saving lives globally and achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Yet, this vital component of health systems strengthening has been widely un-prioritized on the global health agenda, despite growing evidence of cost-effectiveness and impact on improving women and children’s health. Mona actively assisted in efforts to prioritize maternal and women’s health at the World Health Assembly 2013, where Member States convened to establish global health needs and priorities.