Mustafa Abid

Mustafa Abid is a second-year medical student at Wake Forest School of Medicine. Prior to starting at Wake, he spent a year in Amman, Jordan, exploring how information about healthcare services is distributed among refugee populations residing in Amman, building off a previous research project in Amman the year before. He also spent time that year working with a local public health surveillance NGO, building experience in public health project development.

Mustafa's interest in global health and tropical medicine began during his undergraduate career at Davidson College while studying abroad in India. This initial interest led to several research projects in Jordan and tied together his interests in political science and medicine. He currently focuses on issues of refugee health through projects in Winston-Salem, NC, and is looking forward to another summer of refugee health work in Jordan. He spends his free time, both in Jordan and in the U.S., in the outdoors as much as possible, and overindulging in local foods with friends.

Project: "Meeting the Health Needs of Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Mental Health, Epidemiologic Surveillance and Emergency Health and Vaccination Interventions"     
June 1, 2017 - July 21, 2017

What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I was honored to selected as a Kean Fellow. The Fellowship opens an incredible opportunity for me to build my knowledge in refugee health and tropical medicine and tie together my work from previous trips to Jordan and projects in the U.S. During my only free summer during medical school, being able to utilize this time and build on the momentum of my previous year's work and research will allow me to engage in issues of refugee health in the region more meaningfully than ever before. Being a Kean Fellow helps open the path forward to more engaged work on issues of tropical medicine and refugee health facing my region of interest, the Middle East.

What do you anticipate learning?
During my Fellowship, I will be working with the WHO in Amman, Jordan, on a wide portfolio of health issues facing refugee populations in Jordan. I believe this experience will not only improve skills in areas like project development and implementation, but will also allow me to grow my knowledge of strategies that can be used to confront issues of refugee health and tropical medicine in the Middle East. The strategies of response to health issues facing displaced populations is in a unique stage of transition currently, with increasing emphasis on building resilience in systems and communities, and I am very excited to build my knowledge base in this new, more sustainable approach.

What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
My interest in public health originated in the health issues facing displaced populations in the Middle East. The intersection of tropical medicine with refugee health brought it neatly in line with my research and studies. Tropical diseases like leishmeniasis impacted refugee populations while Brucellosis challenged Jordan’s farming communities. Stemming the health gaps created by displacement and strengthening host community agricultural health depended on tropical medicine, a focus of my previous work with the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network. I learned that pursuing my passion in refugee health in the Middle East necessitated increasing my capacity to work in tropical medicine.

I am most interested in solving issues of tropical medicine that intersect with the vulnerabilities facing displaced populations in the Middle East. This includes solving questions of health surveillance for transient populations and improving equitable access to public health interventions for these displaced populations, especially those who do not reside in official refugee camps and are therefore farthest from existing services.