• EDD participation year: 2015
  • Country: South Africa

In 2015, Shakira was selected as the European Development Days Young Leader for Health, to speak alongside esteemed Leaders such as Dr Margaret Chan from the World Health Organisation on the Ebola Outbreak. During EDD Shakira highlighted the role of corruption in Africa, the need for a United States of Africa as well as her work in disability related issues in healthcare. She is currently serving as the first editor for the Young Voices for Development Platform and is a prolific writer and blogger on various platforms including International Health Policies.

Shakira is also employed as a PhD research fellow at the Centre for Health Policy (CHP), South Africa (SA) and is involved in the multi-country Resilient and Responsive Health System (RESYST) project. The RESYST project is imperative in strengthening governance at the district (local) level of the health system in countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and SA.

In addition, Shakira is pursuing Doctoral Studies (Public Health) at the University of the Witwatersrand (SA). As a qualified demographer, Ms Choonara has extensive research experience in the field of malaria prevention and other health related issues. She has received numerous research awards and has participated in a number of prestigious leadership programmes. She has served and continues to serve on several committees at a university level.

Furthermore, Shakira has vast experience in public speaking, debating and engaging with prominent leaders. Most notably, she is an advocate for non-racism and is committed to improving the health system and achieving the right to health globally: this is evident through her research expertise, achievements and awards and noteworthy presence on social media.


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No discussion on HIV/AIDS can be complete without the nitty-gritties of target 3.3 (by 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases) of Sustainable Development Goal 3 which ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all ages, and which we cannot forget  ‘meshes’ […]

Photo of Shakira Choonara by Shakira Choonara

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