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By: Urvi Chowdhury,  United to Beat Malaria

Intern Q&A With Urvi Chowdhury

October 5, 2022

Meet our new advocacy intern, Urvi Chowdhury!

Tell us about yourself!

I am a senior majoring in Neurobiology & Physiology at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I am a member of the Integrated Living Sciences Program and the Global Fellows Program. My future career aspirations involve combining medicine, public health, and humanitarian advocacy to combat health inequities locally, domestically, and globally. I am also the Director of Community Projects at a non-profit public health organization called United Against Inequities in Disease and the President of the UNICEF chapter at UMD! Both organizations have made me so incredibly passionate about student-led advocacy & empowerment. In my free time, I love making Spotify playlists, painting, and watching reruns of New Girl!

What drew you to United to Beat Malaria and the UN Foundation?

One of my closest friends lost a loved one to malaria, and it was one the few times I personally witnessed the profound influence of systemic, social determinants of health that were beyond any individual’s control. It further fueled my passion to combat health inequities in harder to reach communities and populations that are disproportionately impacted on a more global scale—which led me straight to United to Beat Malaria (Beat Malaria)! The Beat Malaria campaign has made a monumental and measurable impact on attaining funding for the fight against malaria through advocacy efforts, and I wanted to learn how to effectively integrate advocacy in local and domestic communities with larger, systemic advocacy platforms. I am also super excited to work with and learn from so many people on the Beat Malaria team who have similar goals and passions!

Why are you United to Beat Malaria?

Malaria is an entirely preventable and treatable disease, but implications such as decreased funding, drug and insecticide resistance, new pandemics, and the effects of climate change require individual and collective global action to mobilize lifesaving resources to marginalized and vulnerable communities. I believe that a malaria free world can be established through united efforts, commitment, collaboration, and innovation across multiple sectors of society.

What part of your internship with United to Beat Malaria are you looking forward to most?

I’m really looking forward to talking to champions and hearing about their involvement in grassroots advocacy through Beat Malaria. I’m also a huge proponent for student empowerment, so I’m looking forward to organizing a virtual collaborative event with students from various UNICEF chapters throughout the country on World Children’s Day. My hope is that students from target districts can learn about how they can become champions and global advocates for malaria programs through social media activations, writing letters to editors, and leading in-district meetings with Members of Congress.

What is a fun fact our champions may not know about you?

The names of every organization that I have been significantly involved with have all started with United! I also love the taste and texture of adult carrots and have been eating them daily for almost six years!

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