Our monthly checkin 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.
I am a Sierra Leonean that has lived and studied in Sierra Leone, Norway, USA, and Rwanda. I have a BSc in Health and Exercise Science (Public Health concentration) from Skidmore College in New York, and a MSc in Global Health Delivery from the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda. I am passionate about improving health systems and quality and affordable healthcare accessibility for underprivileged populations.
I knew about CHAI when I was a global health intern at the Clinton Foundation office in New York City during the summer of my junior year. Because of the rich experience I gained during my three months at the Clinton Foundation, I became very much interested in joining CHAI so I could support ministries of health in improving health systems and programs in their countries.
1. What does a typical day at CHAI look like for you?
A typical day includes a meeting with my Vaccines team, engagement with our Child Health/Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) counterpart at the Ministry of Health, analyzing immunization and supply chain data, summarizing results, and brainstorming around identified gaps and areas for improvement.
2. What’s been one of your proudest moments working at CHAI?
One of my proudest moments working for CHAI was spearheading the formation of the human papilloma virus (HPV) technical working group, which provides leadership for Sierra Leone’s preparation for the HPV vaccine introduction later this year. The group consist of the Child Health/EPI, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, ICAP, Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education and other stakeholders. The main mandate of the group is to lead all activities geared towards HPV vaccine introduction. That includes social mobilization, finances, education, data analysis of target populations, and general cold chain preparedness of the vaccines.
3. What is the best piece of advice that you have ever received?
Never get tired of learning; be open to new opportunities as they always contribute to your growth as a person.
4. What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
Hanging out with family and friends and volunteering my time with my Rotary club and the Sierra Leone United World College Alumni Network.
5. What advice would you give someone who’s considering joining CHAI?
Understand and appreciate how CHAI works, as we are very different in our mode of operations compared to other NGOs; have very good excel and data analysis skills; reach out to present staff; and be willing to work hand-in-hand with government.