As McMaster faculty, both Dr. Ally Prebtani and Dr. Zahira Khalid focus their work in Hamilton – but the scope of their care extends far beyond Canada’s borders.

Dr. Prebtani and Dr. Khalid volunteer their time to train and collaborate with healthcare providers in developing countries – Dr. Prebtani as the founder and director of the Internal Medicine Residency International Health Program, which focuses on Uganda, and Dr. Khalid as program director of the first Internal medicine residency program at Georgetown Public Hospital in Guyana.

Dr. Prebtani, who was born in Uganda and immigrated to Canada as a young child, says his interest in global health stems from a tradition of volunteerism that was instilled in him from an early age.

“In my community, there’s a very strong sense of volunteerism – a lot of the things we do is based on voluntary service without expecting anything monetary in return,” he said. “We try to instill it in our children, and it was also encouraged and nurtured by my parents.”...

Meanwhile, the drive for sustainability and longevity has also inspired Dr. Khalid’s work in Guyana. Dr. Khalid has spent ten years working in the field of global health and has volunteered as a physician and clinical educator in Uganda, Peru, Cambodia and Namibia.

But during her first visit to Guyana, she felt drawn to the idea of creating a lasting program that would have major impacts on the level and quality of care.

“Once I went there, I just knew there was a lot that could be done, and a lot that could be sustainable, which was quite in contrast to where I had worked in previous places,” she said. “Things just didn’t seem to be sustainable. You went there, you’d work on something, and then it would be back to stage one. You could never leave something behind.

“Here, I saw an opportunity to do something, keep it sustainable, and hand it back to the people who could run it locally.”

Please read the full feature story in the Annual Report

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