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b2ap3_thumbnail_Kate_Carmody.jpgMy decision to pursue a global public health internship with WAAF/IHCC emerged for various reasons. To begin, during my undergraduate education, I studied public health and gender studies. Upon my recent graduation, I recognized that both my public health education and career qualifications would benefit greatly from the opportunity to partake in a global health research and outreach program. I was drawn to WAAF specifically, due to: positive reports of prior interns, varied ongoing projects available to partake in, and overall flexibility of the internship program.

To begin, I had the privilege of engaging in various outreach projects during my experience as an intern. However, two projects affected me most prominently. First, I attended MSM Peer Educator Training, a residential training with the purpose of educating community peer educators on topics including, yet not limited to: HIV/AIDS, STIs, gender-based violence, condom and lubricant use, reproductive anatomy, and communication skills.

The overall purpose of this trainingwas to provide peer educators with skills necessary to reach out to their fellow peers. My experience as a contributor to the MSM Peer Educator Training was informative and uplifting. This training allowed me to advance in specific public health areas, such as: LGBTQ health, HIV/AIDs, STIs, sexual health, and reproductive anatomy. Most importantly, I was further informed of strategies I can utilize in my future to address stigma among underserved communities.

To continue, another project I had the pleasure of partaking in was the mobile testing clinic. Through this project, WAAF performed free HIV/STI screening and counseling to target populations. Through my participation, I was able to travel to various communities throughout Accra, as well as shadow the HIV/STI testing and counseling process. This hands-on experience was both informative and uplifting.

Overall, my experience as an intern with WAAF/IHCC was incredible. Through this internship, I was able to travel, expand my public health knowledge, and create professional connections. I would highly recommend this internship for anyone interested in pursuing a career in the public health/medical field. I look forward to idea of returning to Ghana in the near future and reconnecting with the wonderful friends I met during my time working at WAAF.

I have been interning at the West Africa AIDS Foundation during my time in Ghana,which has proven to be an incredibly practical learning experience.

I have absorbed a variety of things in all aspects of life here, but some of the re-occurring themes that have been prominent in my work experience have been adjusting expectations, being flexible and always being ready to learn.

Although it is not always easy, as us humans tend to become stuck in our ways and very attached to our expectations, remembering these social tools is very beneficial.

Source: Kate Carmody

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