Ms. Aditi Sharma, a doctor of public health (DrPH) student in the department of public health sciences at Penn State College of Medicine, served as an expert advisor at the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first-ever “Global Research Collaborative Meeting on Menstrual Health” in Geneva, Switzerland, on Aug. 23-24.
Ms. Sharma, who has been an advocate for improving women’s health and wellness, co-founded an organization that helps underserved populations living in Nepal by educating women and girls about menstrual hygiene.
Given her experience in working with culturally-restrictive practices associated with menstruation in Nepal, she was asked to present on the topic of Stigma, norms and socio-cultural practices. During the meeting, the group discussed the following topics:
“Menstruation has received limited attention in policies, research priorities, programs and resource allocation due to the notion of secrecy that typically surrounds this subject. It was very encouraging for a trusted global organization like WHO to convene this important meeting to finally start the dialogue to including menstruation in its agenda,” said Ms. Sharma.
“It is an incredible honor for Aditi to be selected for this event. Her already vast experience in this area will be critical to this WHO initiative, as well as, inform her future doctoral research,” said Dr. Betsy Aumiller, associate director, Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) Program Penn State College of Medicine Department of Public Health Sciences.
“I have long been an advocate for menstrual health, and it was an overwhelming experience for me to this share intellectual space in a room full of experts in the field. It was a great learning and networking experience for me,” said Dr. Sharma.