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Shakira Choonara

Dr Shakira Choonara, 28, is a researcher and activist at the forefront of public health in South Africa and the world. She is currently employed as the Obesity Prevention Coordinator for South Africa at the Washington based NGO,  Global Health Advocacy Incubator. She previously worked at the Southern African Aids Trust, where she was responsible for driving innovative youth activism programmes in sexual and reproductive health throughout Africa.

Choonara recently completed her PhD in Public Health and also holds an Honours (Cum Laude) and has contributed substantially to multi-country research through the Resilient and Responsive Health System (RESYST) project, which aims to improve healthcare across various African and Asian countries.

Her writings and involvement in other research, such as Universal Health Coverage (UHC- Health for All), fostering leadership in the health system and malaria prevention have been widely published and engaged with internationally. Additionally, she has been the recipient of several prestigious research and leadership awards, including the 2017 Woman of the Year in Healthcare.

Outside of healthcare, she advocates for non-racism, serving as a volunteer at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation, and in March 2018 was selected as the South African ambassador for non-racism during Anti-Racism Week. In 2017, she was part of the civil society coalitions fighting against corruption in the country and will also participate as one of 200 leaders in the upcoming Obama Africa Leaders Programme.

You can follow her on Twitter here.

Nominated in category: Visionary

Photo: Wits University