ABOUT THE MILLENNIUM FELLOWSHIP - CLASS OF 2021

United Nations Academic Impact and MCN are proud to partner on the Millennium Fellowship. In 2021, over 25,000 young leaders on 2,000+ campuses across 153 nations applied to join the Class of 2021. 136 campuses worldwide (just 6%) were selected to host the 2,000+ Millennium Fellows. The Class of 2021 is bold, innovative, and inclusive.

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UNITED NATIONS ACADEMIC IMPACT AND MCN PROUDLY PRESENT PIRIL OKAY, A MILLENNIUM FELLOW FOR THE CLASS OF 2021.

Koç University | İstanbul, Turkey | Advancing SDG 3 & UNAI 6

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" I consider myself as a scientific and technical person, but knowing how to leverage those skills for the good of humanity requires a thorough understanding of what the world needs and a well thought-out action plan, all of which are possible with Millennium Fellowship. Being part of a community of like-minded individuals dedicated to social good, having role models that make a change in their communities for the better, and an environment where we can learn from each other... What more could I ask for? "

Millennium Fellowship Project: AnemiApp

The AnemiApp team works on a smartphone application that can measure a patient's hemoglobin levels from a photograph of their palm. The team hopes that this application will allow the early diagnosis of thousands of anemia cases, especially in the rural areas of Turkey, where access to healthcare services is limited. The development of the app wasn't complete within the duration of the fellowship, but the team visited 3 villages to perform anemia screening to over 300 people using a different point-of-care anemia screening tool, and facilitated the connection of the patients with low hemoglobin counts with healthcare providers. The team also focused on health education within those communities, and organized information sessions on the causes, prevention and treatment of anemia. The team continues working on the app to provide a sustainable method for anemia screening in remote communities. The team believes that such digital health interventions are crucial to ensure equity in the provision of healthcare services in alignment with United Nations' SDG3, as they lower the costs of diagnosis for people in poverty, make diagnosis more accessible to people in remote communities and shift focus from treatment to prevention.

About the Millennium Fellow

Piril Okay is a fourth year medical student in Koc University, Istanbul, where she served as the European Medical Students Association (EMSA) Health Policy Pillar Director for a year. As an early-born, she volunteers in a Turkish parent organization that represents the interests of preterm infants and their families. She also volunteers in a neuromuscular diseases association, where she translates and summarizes research articles, so that patients have access to current and reliable information on their conditions. She co-founded a chapter of Medicine in Motion, a non-profit organization, whose mission is to address medical burnout through fitness, philanthropy and community building. Through her volunteer work, she hopes to make healthcare more equitable and accessible to all.