Dr. Amira Shaheen, First Palestinian Woman to be Awarded the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award for Women Scientists in the Developing World
Dr. Amira Shaheen, Assistant Professor of Epidemiology in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at An-Najah University has recently obtained the Outstanding OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award from the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD), which makes her the first Palestinian woman to receive this award among five researchers from developing countries.
The award acknowledges the scientists' commitment to leading and mentoring young scientists, and to improving lives and livelihoods in their communities and regions, and is presented to women scientists who have performed ground-breaking international-level science, often in circumstances where the deck has been stacked against them.
In cooperation with the Palestinian Ministry of Health, Dr. Shaheen is working on improving the health care system response to gender based violence (GBV) in Palestine. She investigates the readiness of the health care system to identify and refer women victims of violence. Her primary goal is to improve identification and referral of victims by health care providers, in order to improve women’s health overall.
Dr. Shaheen’s research interests are related to population health, particularly to women’s health, child health, injuries, violence, environmental health, and mental health. Her research has appeared in many leading international journals including the Lancet, the International Journal of Public Health, European Journal of Public Health, JAMA Paediatric, PLoS One, and Archives of Suicide Research. She has successfully supervised several master's students, including many women. She also helps to facilitate the development and advancement of young women in public health research careers as a mentor of young research assistants. She is a member of her university’s research ethics committee, and is also an active member of several scientific communities including Child Healthcare Information for All and the International Epidemiological Association. Most recently, Dr. Shaheen, together with collaborators from Brazil, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom, was awarded a grant from the British National Institutes of Health Research to enhance identification and referral of GBV cases in reproductive health settings within marginalized Palestinian populations.
On this occasion, Dr. Shaheen thanked An-Najah, her family and everyone who contributed to this success and said:" Winning the OWSD-Elsevier Foundation Award gives me the courage to continue my research on culturally sensitive issues, in order to improve the health of women and their families. I hope it will motivate young health graduates to enter the field of public health."
Congratulating Dr. Shaheen on her achievement, Professor Maher Natsheh, Acting President of An-Najah University expressed his pride of the new achievement and wished the University to achieve more academic progress.