5 Questions with Inga Mumukunde

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. 

In 2015, I completed a bachelor’s degree in nursing science from Saint Cloud State University, in Minnesota, USA. After graduating, I worked as a registered nurse for four years—first at Allina Health, in Minnesota, and then at a military hospital in Rwanda. In 2017, I decided to go back to university to pursue a master’s degree in public health in hopes of making a bigger impact in global health. This is the reason I joined CHAI—to work for an organization that improves the lives of so many people and in many places.

1. What has been one of your proudest moments working at CHAI?

My program was conducting health screenings across various districts in Rwanda when we found cases of suspicious cervical cancer in women in the community. We immediately referred them to the nearest health facility where they received treatment. This discovery indicated that we could reach far more women than we are currently. While we have a lot of work ahead of us, we have also been presented with an opportunity to greatly impact more women’s lives than we initially expected.

2. When do you feel the most inspired by your work?

Unlike when I worked as a nurse treating patients directly, at CHAI I provide support to people who do that. I support health workers at all levels of care to improve their cervical cancer screening practices and treatment options. So, it is always a pleasant surprise when I get a phone call from a beneficiary thanking us for helping her treat her pre-cancerous lesions or sharing, they have healed from HPV.

3. What is your favorite thing about your career?

My favorite thing about my job is working with communities and being part of teams that bring health solutions directly to them. Without the support we provide, in collaboration with the national government and partner organizations we work with, many women would have limited access to cervical cancer screening and treatment services. In my role, I work to break down barriers and make it easier for people to access services where they are, whenever they need and at the right time. The knowledge that projects I support help women access this critical screening and treatment, is my favorite part of the job.

4. What is a motto you live by?

“If you only do things you are good at, you’ll never learn anything.” This is a good description of my adventurous mind, as I am always looking for challenges and seeking to be in uncomfortable situations.

5. If you were stranded on a deserted island, and could only bring three things with you, what would they be and why?

A book, a camera, and a tent—a book in case I get bored, a camera to capture memories, and a tent to keep me dry.

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