16/17 Eira Francis Scholarship Winner

Basant, who is from Egypt, was the winner of the 16/17 Eira Francis Davies Scholarship and studied MSc Public Health and Health Promotion.  

Prior to starting her MSc degree in Swansea, Basant was involved with civil society projects in Egypt empowering health since 2010, where her main target group was women residing in slum and rural areas#.

We chat to Basant below to find out more about her course, life in Swansea and how the Eira Francis Davies Scholarship has impacted her life.

Meet Basant...

Why did you choose Swansea University?

Egypt suffers from a deteriorating healthcare system which is driving a decline of public health, which is exacerbated by a lack of public health specialists and schools in Egypt. Willing to change this fact, I have been involved with civil society projects in Egypt empowering health since 2010, where my main target group was women residing in slum and rural areas (since they're the most marginalized). Swansea University is offering a course (MSc Public Health and Health Promotion) that is very much tailored to help me achieve what I would like to implement in my home country, which is sustainable health empowerment of rural and slum areas in Egypt.  Moreover, working in a developing and patriarchal society, I keep equipping myself with training programs to succeed in a society that frequently oppresses women with a drive to change.

When I read about the Eira Francis Davies Scholarship that specifically addresses women in developing countries who're extremely marginalized, I was very motivated to apply to this scholarship program, where if I was chosen to be a recipient of this scholarship, this will be a huge source of inspiration to many women in my society to continue with their education and will enable me to further empower more women through the huge women network I work with in Egyptian rural and slum areas (whom are the most marginalized and oppressed). 

Why did you decide to study MSc Public Health and Health Promotion?

After my grandmother died of Breast Cancer, I volunteered with the Breast Cancer Foundation of Egypt (BCFE) as a health member in Cairo slums, developing and delivering awareness campaigns to communicate the importance and know-how of routine self-inspection in Cairo's slums. This experience raised my awareness of the unhealthy living environment for residents and the diseases that prevailed as a result and compelled me to act to alleviate this suffering. Egypt suffers from a deteriorating healthcare system which is driving a decline of public health, which is exacerbated by a lack of public health specialists and schools in Egypt.  Due to poverty and the economic crisis that was intensified by the unstable political conditions following the revolution, Egypt's infrastructure generally and sanitation system specifically are incompetent, leading to increases in kidney and liver diseases and cancer.

On your return to your home country, how will you demonstrate the benefits of your study at Swansea?

Through studying this degree program at Swansea University, this will be demonstrated upon my return in various ways. One way is through how this study will be reflected to the knowledge I will be providing to my students at Heliopolis University, where I work. This will specifically be reflected when the department of "Global Health and Public Health" will be established in Heliopolis University. It'll enable me to successfully contribute into constructing this department based on the skills, knowledge and expertise I will be gaining at Public Health and Promotion Master's Degree Program at Swansea University. Furthermore, I would like to work towards creating a partnership between both universities in order for us in Heliopolis University to benefit from the vast experience of Swansea University in this particular field of study.