Rael Asande GUMBE

2nd year Master's student in Biomedical Engineering
The University of British Columbia

Asande is a second-year master’s student in biomedical engineering at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.

Growing up in Kenya, she was aware of the severe impact of sexually transmitted infections (STIs), particularly on young girls and women. Kenya, like many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, has weak sexual and reproductive healthcare services, and those seeking screening and treatment for STIs face numerous challenges. These include limited resources, stigmatization, poor quality of services, and little to no follow-up for sexual partners.This exposure ignited my passion for improving community health outcomes and motivated me to pursue biomedical engineering. Two years ago, she realized that her academic and work experiences had already equipped me with the necessary tools to make a significant impact. 

Thus, she decided to create the Sexual Health Resource Database, a website that promotes safe sex practices among individuals in Nairobi, Kenya. This free and comprehensive database allows users to find healthcare specialists based on various criteria, such as price, gender, age, location, services offered, and availability.

Participation in the Women in Africa Leadership Programme will enable her to network with experienced African professionals who can help her develop her entrepreneurial and communication skills. Furthermore, being part of a prestigious program like WIA will enhance her visibility in both the African and global business communities, potentially opening up new opportunities for her non-profit organization, which aims to combat the STI epidemic in Nairobi, Kenya. In the long run, she aspires to establish an NGO dedicated to providing the residents of Nairobi with equitable and high-quality access to sexual and reproductive rights.

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