Ngatho Mugo has experienced more in her few short years than many people will in their entire lives. Having fled war torn Southern Sudan, she has since completed her Masters in International Public Health at UNSW and has just been made an Australian Youth Ambassador to Bangladesh.

Ngatho will soon begin a 12-month placement in Bangladesh, one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the world. While there, she will be working as a maternal child health research officer.

"I wanted to do something to help a developing country. The skills that I have learnt here will be very useful," she says. "Hopefully I'll come back to Australia with more skills as well."

Her ultimate aim is to become a medical doctor and take that knowledge back to Southern Sudan.

"I would love to work between here and Africa," she says.

"Back in Southern Sudan, people have no medical facilities. I would love it if I could learn something in Australia and then apply it back there one day," she says.

While Southern Sudan's political and physical isolation has meant it has fared better than its African neighbours in terms of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the world's newest nation faces other serious health issues include measles, malaria, typhoid, cholera and dengue fever.

Ngatho's postgraduate supervisor was Professor Anthony Zwi from the School of Public Health and Community Medicine

Media contact: Charlotte Chaouka, UNSW media, 9385 8107