Global Health graduate student contributes to a brighter world while advocating for equitable access to higher education
Supporting forcibly displaced students is an important part of internationalization for universities in Canada. Attaining a higher education allows opportunities students to make greater contributions locally and globally towards a brighter world for all.
This year, Global Health graduate student, Yasir Essar, a recipient of the McMaster Students at Risk Bursary is doing just that. As his home country, Afghanistan, plunged deeper into poverty and violence due to the upheaval brought on by the Taliban takeover in 2021. Yasir and his family became forcibly displaced. With strong ambitions to further his education in the midst of the upheaval, Yasir has been an inspiration to his peers and wider community.
Putting into practice skills gained throughout the Global Health program at McMaster University, he is currently completing a work-integrated learning practicum. Passionate about interdisciplinary infectious disease research and working towards solutions to pressing global heath challenges, Yasir recently started his practicum at The Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
As part of the placement, Yasir is working on a project titled the Impact of COVID-19 on Tuberculosis (COVET). The goal of COVET is to assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on tuberculosis services in private healthcare in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria.
While gaining a broader perspective about the field of global health, Yasir has been able to refine and develop his research, collaboration, communication, and networking skills. Reflecting that the most valuable experience in the Global Health Program is its supportive environment, Yasir remarks, “everyone is committed to helping you become a better version of yourself and the program provides you with opportunities to experience diversity, inclusivity, and cultural exchange.”
His advice to future global health students and professionals is to step out of your comfort zone, explore new opportunities, actively connect with people, and share what you bring from your country.
In response to World Refugee Day, an international day designated by the United Nations to honour refugees, Yasir has written an opinion article that has been published in the Hamilton Spectator. Take a look at the important call to action for governments to accelerate the visa process for refugees here.
Global Health News