| Welcome to Global Village Space

Monday, April 15, 2024

Alysha Siddiqi’s dedication to global health and social justice

Alysha Siddiqi, a Muslim woman from Oklahoma, breaking barriers in global health, blending politics and medicine.

Alysha Siddiqi, an undergraduate student at Yale University, is forging a unique path by combining her interests in political science, medicine, and her cultural identity. As a woman, a Muslim, and an Oklahoman, Siddiqi understands the profound impact politics can have on people’s lives. Her diverse background and experiences have fueled her passion for both politics and medicine, particularly in the context of global health.

Embracing Identity 

Growing up as a Muslim woman with immigrant parents, Siddiqi was acutely aware of how her identity intersected with politics. This awareness instilled in her a sense of purpose to address the socio-political challenges faced by marginalised communities. Siddiqi recognized that medicine, too, is deeply entwined with politics, evident in issues such as women’s reproductive rights and access to healthcare for undocumented immigrants. Motivated by these realities, she embarked on a mission to bridge the gap between politics and medicine.

Read More: Coronavirus exposes the weaknesses in global health systems

Global Health Perspectives

A pivotal moment for Siddiqi occurred during a class on historical perspectives and global health at Yale. Learning about polio vaccine hesitancy in Pakistan, her parents’ home country, ignited her interest in global health. Siddiqi realised that her knowledge and skills in this field could be instrumental in serving the communities she deeply cared about. Through her involvement in the Global Health Studies program at Yale College and as a summer intern at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Siddiqi witnessed firsthand the interplay of social, cultural, and policy factors in healthcare systems.

Contributions to Research

Siddiqi’s dedication to research has allowed her to delve deeper into her interests. As a research assistant in Dr. Saad B. Omer’s lab at the Yale Institute for Global Health, she focused on social-mixing patterns in Pakistan and maternal immunisation. Additionally, she conducted research in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences at the Yale School of Medicine. Her research interests extend to women’s health and the politics of care in South Asia. Siddiqi’s contributions to these studies have helped shed light on critical issues and provided insights for potential solutions.

The Path Ahead

In pursuit of her commitment to global health, Siddiqi will be joining Johns Hopkins University for a master’s degree in public health, specialising in global disease epidemiology and control. Simultaneously, she plans to apply to medical school, seeking to combine her passion for healthcare and her understanding of the political determinants that shape it. Siddiqi’s trajectory exemplifies her determination to create meaningful change at the intersection of medicine, politics, and global health.

Cultivating Inclusivity and Understanding

Beyond her academic pursuits, Siddiqi has been actively involved in creating a more inclusive campus community. As a counsellor for first-year students at Yale, she supported their transition to university life, drawing from her own experiences as a first-generation student from Oklahoma. Siddiqi acknowledges the transformative power of the friendships she has made at Yale, which have broadened her perspective and challenged preconceived notions. She takes pride in dispelling stereotypes associated with her Oklahoma roots and hopes to continue expanding people’s perceptions of her home state and the South.

Advocacy and Leadership

Siddiqi’s commitment to her religious and cultural heritage is evident in her leadership roles as president of Yalies for Pakistan and treasurer of the Muslim Students Association. Through these positions, she spearheaded fundraisers for causes such as Sudan and the Black Lives Matter movement, demonstrating her dedication to promoting social justice and equality. Siddiqi’s leadership endeavours serve as inspiration for others and exemplify the transformative impact that individuals can have on their communities.

Read More: Health warnings as Bangkok chokes on pollution

Alysha Siddiqi’s academic journey at Yale University exemplifies the power of merging diverse interests and identities. Her multidimensional background, combining political science, medicine, and her cultural heritage, has driven her to pursue global health with an emphasis on addressing political determinants. Siddiqi’s research contributions, advocacy, and leadership roles highlight her unwavering commitment to effecting positive change. As she embarks on her future endeavours, Siddiqi’s passion for her roots and heritage will continue to fuel her aspirations for a more equitable and inclusive world.