KATHMANDU, April 24: Medha Sharma, 23, is preparing to go to Nairobi, where she will participate in a capacity-building program organized by Restless Development and MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
She will tackle issues related to HIV and youth. As a program coordinator for YUWA, a not-for-profit youth-run organization, Medha engages in various issues related to todays’ youth.
She specializes in HIV and other health issues.
Medha shares with Republica her experiences, expectations and future plans.
What encouraged you to this field of health issues and youth organization?
The existing health inequality and the need to find justifiable interventions ignited me to explore and get engaged in this sector. Through our youth organization, we’re trying to explore new generational approaches to respond to it.
Can you give us some trending facts about HIV in Nepal from your ongoing research?
Upon interactions with adolescent these days, I see that Nepali youths have started opening up with sex matters which is, in a way, good. But the growing trend of tender age at first sex, effects of glamour media, multiple-partner sex, and on top of that, inadequate knowledge has put them at greater risks for unsafe sex, sexually transmitted diseases and HIV.
How was your trip to Switzerland?
I was at the UNAIDS Headquarters in Geneva to present the UNAIDS New Generation Leadership Strategy to HRH Crown Princess of Norway and Executive Director of UNAIDS. This is the strategy for HIV prevention for young people, developed by young people from all over the world through crowdsourcing process. I represented Asia and the Pacific in the drafting committee, and in Geneva, the meeting was to obtain high level of commitment from leaders.
What will you be focusing on in Nairobi?
Yes, I’ll in Nairobi for two weeks to attend a capacity-building training organized by Restless Development and MTV Staying Alive Foundation. YUWA is the project grantee of MTV Staying Alive Foundation. I’ll be with 28 youths from 14 countries, discussing how to make HIV programs focused on youth more effective and how to plan effective interventions in future.
Are you planning to continue working in the health sector?
Yes, definitely. There’s ample opportunity and need as well to work in the health sector. Development is incomplete without achieving universal health access, and thus I would continue with my passion in health sector.