Get to know one of our newest staff members, Shashika Bandara! Shashika is an alumnus of DGHI and currently works in CHPIR as a Research Associate with Associate Research Professor of Global Health, Dr. Sara LeGrand. Here are a few questions we asked to get to know more about Shashika and his interests:
What project(s) are you currently working on?
For CHPIR I am working on: Novel mHealth Technologies to Enhance PrEP Adherence among Thai MSM: Collaborative Adaptation and Evaluation. I also work with the Center for Policy Impact in Global Health in many of their projects.
What are your areas of expertise?
I do not know if I am an expert but my recent research/ work were in access to medicines policy, using qualitative research and policy analysis. My background before DGHI was human rights advocacy (economic, social, cultural rights; civil and political rights – mainly in South Asia). Also emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. But, my true expertise is my Instagram account ?
How would you like to expand your work?
I would like to learn more and conduct more research to affect policy on health inequalities and access to medicines. Also, learn more about global health as a discipline in practice.
How did you get into health inequalities work?
Mainly through human rights advocacy related to ESC rights in South Asia and also working with families in post-conflict zones in Sri Lanka, affected by natural disasters.
What project/work are you most looking forward to getting underway?
I am excited about the Thai P3 project!
What opportunity to change the course of health do you think holds a lot of promise?
In general, very broadly, I think improving access to health services, treatment and information are probably the most vital to change the course of health. Also, developing better collaborative relationships with LMICs would be extremely helpful to move us forward, globally.
What’s your favorite free thing to do in Durham?
I love the greenery in Durham, reminds me of my hometown Kandy. I just like getting to know Durham and North Carolina better through people and traveling. Also, love trying out new food places.
What brought you to the Triangle?
My master’s program in Global Health at DGHI.
What do you like to do when you have a few days off?
If I could be anywhere in the world – I would be on a good beach with good waves, good food and hopefully good mangoes! – or a rain forest with cool weather and a lot of green. If I am in Durham, I cook, read, run or swim and chill. I also catch up on movies, documentaries, tv series, and music albums.
Shashika’s Instagram is @shashlb