PhD Public Health Student
Welcome! My name is Zakia Salod (pronouns: she/her). I am a 32-year-old second-year PhD Public Health student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, in the Discipline of Public Health Medicine, supervised by Dr Ozayr Mahomed and Prof Serestina Viriri. My research interests are Artificial Intelligence in Medicine which includes the areas of medical informatics, bioinformatics, public health, software development, data science, machine learning, and deep learning. This type of research focuses on developing solutions for the prevention, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment of patients. To this end, my ambition is to contribute to medical research and help save and improve patients’ lives globally. I am very passionate about this because I believe it is my calling in life. I am determined to pursue this calling to fulfil my purpose of life for the pleasure of my most beloved Creator, The Almighty, following in the footsteps of my role model of life, Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).
I quit my full-time job as a Software Developer in June 2019 to pursue my life’s calling, which I am currently doing. I am also a born artist and philanthropist, and I have led numerous successful initiatives in both fields. My art teacher at school discovered the artist in me, and I contributed many works of art throughout my academic career. I won two regional art competitions when I was 14 years old, one of which was featured on television. I was also a runner-up for a national art competition when I was 16, and I won an international art competition in my age category when I was 25 years old. I was invited as a guest and interviewed on the radio as part of this win.
Some of the organizations in South Africa for which I have conducted volunteer initiatives to date are: (i) Africa Teen Geeks for teaching disadvantaged kids how to code in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN); (ii) Cupcakes of Hope for baking, sponsoring, and hosting cupcake sales at work to raise funds for children with Cancer in South Africa; and (iii) Feedy Needy for different initiatives like helping during the annual orphan fun day (~1500 children from Durban schools were hosted at Mitchell's Park) and meals during Ramadaan.
In my spare time, I enjoy learning and reading about various topics, particularly science, technology, medicine, and motivation. I also love Praying and reading the Quraan and other Islamic books. My hobbies include travelling, cooking, baking, making desserts, dining out (my favourite food is Mochachos!), and going to the beach and spa.
“To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.” - Leonardo da Vinci.
“And my success cannot come from any source besides The Almighty Allah. I have put my trust in Him.” - (Quraan 11:88).
My motto in life is:
“Indeed, my prayers, my sacrifice, my life, and my death are all for The Almighty Allah, the Lord of the World's.” - (Quraan 6:162).