My name is Shina-Olga Diadhiou, I am 20 years of age, currently a student at University of Washington Bothell pursuing a major in Biology and a minor in chemistry. I grew up in the Economic Capital City of Ivory Coast called Abidjan. My dad is from Dakar, Senegal and my mom from Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. It was a difficult choice to choose between these two countries full of life and rich culture. It is with a great honor that I have decided to represent Ivory Coast, the land of cocoa and majestic elephants.
Growing up with a pharmacist mother, I have always admired her love and devotion to help people and take care of their health. I have heard a lot of stories about people becoming seriously ill, even dying because of the use of medicine they bought on the streets. It seemed silly to me that people would buy medicine outside of a pharmacy from people that don’t have any license or even education in the pharmaceutical field. Therefore, I would give all my strength and devotion to fight against medicine black market in Abidjan. This market is illegal and dangerous because the majority of the drugs are expired, exposed to a temperature superior to 30°C, moisture, bacteria, dust and pollution. Most of these medicines have no therapeutic effect and may be poisonous. In addition to the bad condition of the medicines, they are prescribed by uneducated people with no legal license, with the wrong dosage for the wrong disease. To fight against this illicit market, I will contact the Union Nationale des Pharmaciens Prive de Cote d’Ivoire (UNPPCI) which is a private organization of pharmacist in Ivory Coast. This organization is already fighting against this market and I will offer my help and collaboration to help with this project.
The crowning ceremony is on September 9th, it will be my pleasure to seeing each and every one of you.