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Personal profile


Dr Sharuna Verghis joined the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia, as a Senior Lecturer in 2017. She is a public health researcher, educator, and humanitarian. Her doctoral thesis on the access of urban refugee women to maternal health care was an inter-disciplinary study combining international human rights law with public health.

Her interest in public health was sparked while doing her MPhil thesis on the drugs and pharmaceutical industry. After an early career stint in teaching, she went on to work on the issue of migration and health at national and international levels.  She was the first Regional Coordinator of CARAM-Asia and set up the network’s regional secretariat in Kuala Lumpur in 2001. She has extensive work experience in relation to HIV and mobility in South and South East Asia, and the Middle East, and has provided technical support for the establishment of community-based organizations working on mobility and HIV in Vietnam and Cambodia.

She has served on national, regional, and international research and intervention projects and has a keen interest in engaging on these projects from a multidisciplinary perspective.


  • International migration, human trafficking, and forced labor and their health dimensions;
  • Access to health care, health systems & gender responsive health systems;
  • Community health - community-based health prevention, community mental health care, trauma informed care, community health workers and task shifting;
  • Translating evidence into practice: Design, implementation, and measurement of community-based interventions on sexual and reproductive health and mental health;
  • Monitoring the right to health; social determinants of health, and health equity;
  • Mixed methods research; research methods in public health with hard to reach and disadvantaged populations, participatory research approaches.

Research interests

Dr Verghis’ research interests include migration and health (including labour migration, forced migration, human trafficking and statelessness), health systems and health policy, access to healthcare, health education, sexual and reproductive health, community-based mental health, task shifting and community health workers, monitoring the right to health, mixed methods research, and participatory research methods.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or