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African Doctor, PHD Epidemiology, Public Health

Updated: 6 days ago

A medical doctor from Cameroon who could not be more passionate about Public Health, I hope very much to earn the PHD Degree in Epidemiology so as to be able to make my fullest contribution to the advancement of public health worldwide, especially in Africa and particularly in Cameroon. After completing medical school with distinction in my country in 2013, I earned my Master’s Degree in Public Health with a focus on Epidemiology at the University of XXXX this past August of 2018.

At the University of XXXX, I joined the CHI-UAB team (Cameroon Health Initiative- University of XXXX), where I assisted with the planning and execution of research projects aimed at gathering evidence and developing methods geared towards the improvement of patient care in my country. The project that consumed the most of my time was dedicated to the improvement of birth outcomes among women in labor. I am in the process of publishing in this area as the first author. I currently work as a research assistant at the UAB 1917 HIV clinic where I review electronic medical records and do quality assurance. I also have experience as a research assistant for the Neurology Department at UXX.

My experience practicing medicine in Cameroon will also help me to excel as a doctoral student in Public Health Epidemiology. During my service at the Goulfey District Hospital in the extreme north of Cameroon, I soon discovered that minor ailments—some with fatal consequences—could have been prevented and many lives saved if it were not for the fact that those affected believed that they resulted from a curse by ‘Allah’. I saw children and old people alike dying because they were unaware that having a clean environment, using mosquito nets, or even taking simple anti-malaria medicine could have prevented and/or cured their ailments. I soon found that many diseases, such as meningitis, measles, tetanus, to name a few, could be curbed by education, simply informing a community of the need for vaccinations. This was the primary driving force that led me to pursue graduate school in Public Health.

I have extensive experience within Cameroonian hospitals and the provision of health care services, both in the public and private sectors. Upon graduation, I was appointed by the Minister of Public health to serve as a Physician in the Goulfey District, Extreme North Region of Cameroon. This is a rural District quite difficult to access due mainly to poor road network, with a population of over 80,000 inhabitants. Here I acted as malaria and HIV/AIDS project focal point with donors and project stakeholders (communities, civil society). I oversaw and supported development and implementation of projects in close collaboration with local partners and actively supervised and coordinated local activities related to Donors (WHO, MSF) funded-projects in the Goulfey district.

Much of my duties revolved around the implementation of our National Immunization Campaign and our fight against cholera, tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS. We carried out these activities under extreme conditions of insecurity, with constant threats from one of the world’s most deadly terrorist groups, Boko Haram. By the end of 2014, violence escalated dramatically with repeated bomb blasts and kidnappings and almost all health care workers were forced to leave the area. I accepted the position of Medical Director for the XXXXMedical Foundation in Douala. There, I participated in meetings geared at planning and executing Public Health Projects.

Cameroon is in need of public health care professionals capable of initiating and implementing health policies that potentially will have far-reaching, positive effects on the health of ordinary people, especially outside of the major cities. Having learned a great deal about the devastating effects of Infectious diseases such as TB, malaria, HIV/AIDS on the population of Cameroon and my experience battling these diseases and caring for the stricken will help me as I continue to struggle to contribute to the solution. I am especially looking forward to devising strategies for the surveillance of adverse effects following vaccination which are seldom adequately reported in this area – alongside the planning and execution of a variety of Public Health projects.

I thank you for considering my application for the PHD in Public Health Epidemiology at XXXX University.

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