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Roshanak Neshati Sani

Roshanak Neshati Sani 130x180I was born in Teheran, Iran, in 1981. My Persian family helped me since childhood to think about my future life. When I was a child, I wanted to become a medical doctor to help sick people. But when I grew up I became curious about the world of women and pregnancy. So I studied midwifery from 1999 to 2002. My interest in nutrition was sparked during my high school period and more so during my bachelor’s degree in midwifery. I saw many women having low birth weight children and most of them did not have sufficient information about their nutrition.

So I started to translate English nutrition books into Persian. I published some of these translations in my university journal and I made a CD about nutrition while pregnancy is in process. I wanted to help women to know how to care about themselves and future generations. During the time I was working in hospitals and my own private clinic as a midwife, I saw many people who knew little or nothing about their nutrition. This motivated me to study more about this field. Thereafter, I searched for a master’s programme that included both of my interests.

In 2008, I moved to Sweden and started my master’s degree in applied public health nutrition at the Karolinska Institutet. These two years that I studied in this field helped me better to understand how nutrition is linked to public health. I came also to understand how we can help each other even when we are from different cultures. In 2010, I decided to do something helpful to my country, so I chose to write my thesis on vitamin A status during pregnancy, a cross- sectional study on pregnant women in Iran.

I came to the following findings after I finished my analysis. The status of vitamin A was good in 75 per cent of pregnant women in Iran. Deficiency was only found in 7 per cent; however, another 18 per cent had insufficient status, indicating that 25 per cent can be considered as having low vitamin A status, needing additional vitamin A to prevent deficiency in their children. Then in 2010 I started another master’s programme on population health at Stockholm University.

I feel that I have achieved quite a lot up to now, but I need to know more about nutrition. There are many impoverished countries in the world that need our help. There are many preventable diseases that arise from vitamin A or D deficiency. They need to be eliminated. This is what I hope to do in future after getting support from people who are expert in this field.