By COMAHS student Asad Naveed
My name is Asad Naveed, I am originally from Pakistan but I have stayed most of my lifetime in Sierra Leone and underwent my secondary education and now my tertiary education here. I have now applied for naturalisation.
I joined the six year Medicine programme at COMAHS, University of Sierra Leone in 2008 and will hopefully graduate this year. Since starting my course at COMAHS I have been involved in student union activities. I have served as the information and communication officer in the student union for three years. When I was in 4th year, I had the opportunity to meet Oliver Johnson of King’s Sierra Leone Partnership and from the very start I was keen to be involved in the Kings Student programmes, one of which included participation in a research project by a King’s global health student- Danny Mclernon Billows on the problems affecting students at COMAHS such as high dropout rate and learning methodologies.
In August 2013, when I was in 5th year, I had the privilege to be selected to do my electives at King’s College Hospital in Denmark Hill. This was an important milestone as I was able to experience health care delivery in developed settings. On our visit we received a warm welcome from Catherine Marshall and Victoria M. Bakare from the King’s Sierra Leone Student Partnership (KSLSP). In our first day, they showed around the hospital and introduced us to our supervisors. Later on they took us bowling ( my first time) and for pizza. We were also able to discuss issues about the KSLSP partnership.
Recently, I was part of the Sierra Leonean delegate to visit the International Federation of Medical Students Association (IFMSA) General Assembly in Tunisia. Tunisia is great country with beautiful scenery. For the very first time, I was able to meet a huge number of medical students from many countries in a single platform. The conference was truly international in every way. Every country had a say in the IFMSA decision making process which was great. We unexpectedly met Victoria in Tunisia as well who was part of the Medsin-UK delegate. She was able to link the Sierra Leone Medical Students’ Association (SLeMSA) with Medsin-UK a connection which helped SLeMSA get full membership with IFMSA. Upon return from the visit, I stood for presidency of SLeMSA and have successfully become the new President of SLeMSA.
King’s has made a positive contribution to my professional and personal development. I am much awakened now about public health issues which make a difference in our society and I look forward to further involvement with the partnership in the future.