About Me

I was born in the beautiful valley of Gojal, Hunza but raised in the city of Gilgit where I also did my early schooling. My academic career was filled with momentous achievements. I always stood first in the class and won countless medals, titles and other meritorious achievement awards for outstanding performance at both regional and national levels. In 1989, I took part in a national essay writing competition organized by Pakistan Academy of Sciences and got the outstanding achievement award for securing third place in Pakistan. I completed my FSC (high school equivalent) in 1993 and passed it with honors which allowed me to get admission in a highly ranked medical school of Pakistan – Rawalpindi Medical College. I became a medical doctor in 1999.

After residency, I joined Centre for Health Intervention and Research (CHIR) – a project of John Hopkins School of Public Health in Gilgit Baltistan. My career path took a sharp turn when I got an opportunity to work with prominent public health professionals from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and gained an understanding of the depth and breadth of public health. It fueled my passion and instilled in me the excitement towards my future career in Public Health.

In 2002, I was awarded the Aga Khan Foundation international merit scholarship to study public health at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) in United Kingdom. I consider myself  very lucky to get a once in a life time opportunity to study at London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and London School of Economics (LSE) – the two world’s renowned academic institutions.

In 2003, I received my Masters in Public Health (MPH) and started working for National Health System (NHS) in Great Britain. I have always been very passionate to work in poor and low income countries where people have no access to basic health care. Hundreds of thousands of women and children die each year needlessly from preventable diseases. I wanted to make a difference in other people’s lives. In order to reaffirm my commitment to the values of my noble profession, I left London for Afghanistan in 2004 and joined Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) – a private and non-profit organization working in Asia and East Africa.

I stayed and worked for international development agencies in Northeast Afghanistan for almost seven years. It was indeed a priceless experience that helped me to propel my professional career.

Tajikistan opened another chapter in my professional journey and provided me with an opportunity to study and analyze the pre and post-soviet health care system. I was very fortunate to play a significant role in initiating the cross border health care project between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. It was undoubtedly an innovative and up and coming project in low resource settings. 

In 2006, I went to Pakistan when the deadliest earthquake stuck Pakistan in October 2005 and killed more than 80, 0000 people. I got a chance to work with Ministry of Health Pakistan and other international development agencies to rehabilitate the devastated health care system in earthquake affected areas of Kashmir and come up with long term strategies and policies that can pave the way for a secure and disaster resilient health sector in Pakistan.

In my professional career, I have carried out many research studies and authored and co-authored many publications. I also write about key health issues in developing countries and some of my articles have been published by American, Pakistani and Danish newspapers and magazines. My research interests include maternal and child health, health system strengthening, nutrition, disaster and public health, water and sanitation, injury prevention and cross border health.

In my free time, I enjoy blogging about my travels and work.am married to Shazia Nota and currently living in Houston, Texas USA.