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Euodia Mosoro's internship helps support sexual & reproductive health services in PNG

Tuesday, 29 September 2020

Euodia Mosoro is one step closer to achieving her goal of advancing evidence-based sexual and reproductive health services in PNG, after completing an internship with an organisation leading workforce development in the field.

For six months, the Women’s Leadership Initiative (WLI) participant interned with the Australasian Society of HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) (specifically, ASHM International), supporting the PNG COVID-19 Special Interest Group virtually from her home in Port Moresby.  

Secured with the help of her WLI mentor, Nikki TeggeloveEuodia says the internship honed not only her technical skills, but gave her a deeper understanding of how a specialist non-profit organisation functions.

Euodia's passion for sexual & reproductive health in PNG

Euodia says she has always had a keen interest in science, having grown up with an environmental scientist for a father.

But a family tragedy is what drew her into sexual and reproductive health, and ultimately, to take up a Master of Public Health at the University of Melbourne.

Euodia explains that sexual and reproductive health is linked to and interdependent on so many other areas of public health in PNG – such as adolescent and maternal health, and sexually-transmitted non-communicable disease prevention.

“60 per cent of PNG’s population is under the age of 25,” Euodia says, “That’s approximately 4.8 million young people who require accurate information and would benefit from tailored sexual reproductive health services.”

Further, Euodia says PNG has the highest maternal mortality rate and HIV prevalence rates in the Western Pacific region – with “nine out of 1000 mothers” expected to die during childbirth, and approximately 45,000 living with HIV. PNG's recorded proportion of HIV accounts for 95 percent of all cases in the Pacific.

Euodia hopes the experience gained through the internship will help her design and implement programs that can curb these worrying trends. She also believes that supporting women's autonomy over their health will help mitigate the issue of gender inequality.

About the ASHM International internship

The six-month internship with ASHM was originally planned to be based in Sydney, Australia.

But due to COVID-19 forcing most operations online, Euodia worked with the ASHM International team virtually from her PNG home in Port Moresby.

“I had the unique opportunity to support ASHM International’s Sexual Reproductive Health Integration Project (SRHIP) PNG COVID-19 Special Interest Group, and was able to be part of the response here in PNG by supporting clinicians who deliver essential sexual reproductive health services,” Euodia says.

“The internship provided an avenue to apply the technical skills gained through my Master of Public Health”, Euodia continues. “I had the opportunity to contribute to scoping of health programs, health program evaluations, communications, and project management [and] to apply leadership skills through the unique role of supporting the … Special Interest group.”

Mentor support from public health expert, Nikki Teggelove

Euodia’s internship was secured with help from her WLI mentor, Nikki Teggelove – who is the ASHM International Project Manager and a Public Health, Clinical and Developmental Specialist.

Euodia says her monthly mentoring catchups with Nikki, and the internship, were clear highlights of her time on the WLI program.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the ASHM International team and ASHM for the opportunity,” Euodia says, “I learned so much during the internship; not only technical skills, but it was a first for me to be a part of a non-profit organisation and gain an understanding of how an organisation such as ASHM functions.”

Euodia talks about her WLI journey at the 2019 QLD September Intensive. 

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WLI Leadership & Mentoring program participants have the opportunity to work within Australian or Pacific organisations as part of the Women's Leadership Initiative. Through tailored internships, participants build leadership and professional skills and forge lasting partnerships and networks to support them into the future.

Find out more about WLI workplace internships.