Australia Award Alumnus, Dr Ana Charles from Mozambique, has been named the University of Queensland’s International Alumnus of the Year 2013 for her achievements in helping tackle her country’s health challenges.
Dr Charles was celebrated at the University of Queensland’s 2013 Courting the Greats Awards ceremony on 17 October.
Dr Charles graduated in 2005 with a Masters in Public Health from the University of Queensland. She is now Provincial Coordinator of the Ariel Foundation in Mozambique, working to prevent paediatric HIV and AIDs. Around 180,000 children under 14 years of age in Mozambique are thought to be living with HIV.
Dr Charles describes her Australia Awards experience as empowering.
“I had always wanted to upgrade my academic qualifications, and when the opportunity arose for me to take up a Scholarship, I seized it,” she says.
“This award means great responsibility for me, but especially for representing my own country, Mozambique. It means that when I come back home, I have to do my work even better than I used to.”
Since returning to Mozambique, Dr Charles’s contribution to development has been far-reaching. As Chief of the Department of Environmental Health in the Ministry of Health and Chief of the Department of Health Promotion, she has been responsible for the capacity building of health professionals in Mozambique’s 11 provinces.
She has also contributed to several key health-focused studies, including research related to HIV and AIDS, and the H1N1 influenza virus.
Passionate about sharing her knowledge, Dr Charles is an active mentor to other Mozambicans in her field of expertise. With qualifications in medicine, disease control, disaster recovery, immunisation program implementation and health promotion, she will continue to help people in her country live healthy and productive lives.
Source: Australian Government – Latest News