5 Questions with Prudence Michel Haimbe
Our monthly check-in with staff from around the world. Learn more about the people who work at CHAI.
Please tell us a bit about your background and what brought you to CHAI.
My name is Prudence Michel Haimbe. I am based in Zambia. I joined CHAI in November 2012. In fact, today is my eight-year anniversary.
The job found me. I was randomly surfing the net when a job ad came up on “Jobs Zambia” for a Health Financing Analyst at CHAI Zambia. I had never heard of CHAI prior to this, so I had to do a background check on the organization. I was instantly sold by the mission and the amazing things that CHAI had done around the world.
The advertised role was a perfect fit. It was everything I had been looking for as it blended well my two academic qualifications in economics and international health. It was almost as if I had written the terms of reference myself. I sent through my application, did the online fit test and was invited for an in-person interview. The minute I walked out of that interview, I knew I had the job.
The call came a few weeks later – that’s how my journey at CHAI started. I must say, it’s been the best seven years of my life.
1. What does a typical day at CHAI look like for you?
A typical day at CHAI means responding to lots of emails and at least two meetings. Lately, due to COVID, a minimum of four Zoom meetings a day is typical. I learn something new every day: from the teams I manage, colleagues on the global teams, newsletters, and blog posts to emails on new developments in public health.
2. What’s the best thing about your job?
Working with a diverse group of brilliant individuals. I oversee a wide portfolio of projects; so, I get to learn from different teams daily. My job is almost as though I am still at public health school. It’s also so gratifying to go out in the field in the most rural and remotest part of the country and meet a young community volunteer, trained with CHAI support, administering lifesaving drugs that CHAI helped to negotiate a reduced price for; nothing beats that feeling.
3. What’s the most challenging part of your job?
Managing people. With so many people under my supervision, I have to manage expectations and nurture relationships by providing mentorship and guidance. At times, this is hard and emotionally draining.
4. What’s been one of your proudest moments working at CHAI?
Convincing the government to adopt option B+, which is a lifelong treatment for pregnant women that have tested positive for HIV. It was the first business case I worked on in my first year at CHAI; it was such an honor to work with a wonderful team of colleagues on it. We made a solid case to the Ministry of Health and it was approved as policy. I felt so proud and honored to have contributed to its development.
5. What advice would you give someone who’s considering joining CHAI?
CHAI is a great place to work. CHAI has given me an opportunity to grow my career, I have been supported and mentored by several people on the local and global teams. I am thankful to senior leadership that presented opportunities for growth within the organization, and for the support to ensure that I perform my best in all the roles I have had. I started off in the Health Financing team, moved on to the Health Systems Strengthening team, and now I am the Associate Director for the HIV/Health Financing and Cancer programs. It has been an exciting eight years. Additionally, employees are given space to think outside the box, and you are given room to grow in a respectful workplace. You get to meet the most brilliant individuals with diverse backgrounds but one common goal – saving lives.