2020–2021 Takemi Fellows (37th Group)
Dr. Angele Mendy (Senegal/Switzerland)
Dynamics of internal mobility of Gambian nurses: what consequences on the provision of health care and the functioning of the health system? (DIMONG)
What inspired your interest in public health? I come from the African continent, where children, young people and adults alike, very often lose their lives for lack of basic health care. Very early on, I realised how important it is to invest in public health for the survival of poor populations. I also understood that the future and prosperity of African countries will depend on the answers to health issues. This awareness has not only been the guiding thread in my choice of specialization, but it has also aroused and motivated my deep interest in the fields of public health.
Dr. Bolaji Egbewale (Nigeria)
Identifying barriers to uptake of proven interventions for reducing childhood morbidity or mortality in Nigeria: a multilevel population-based cross sectional study
What inspired your interest in public health? My interest in public health was inspired by the urgent need for capacity building in the field. This way, I would be able to address huge health problems humanity has to grapple with. A lot of such health issues are domicile in sub-Sahara Africa region and Nigeria in particular, where there are limited resources and capacity to handle them. I thus developed a strong interest in public health in order to add to the available limited capacity through training and conduct of cutting-edge research, to the intent of addressing public health related issues in Nigeria and in any part of the world where the expertise is required.
Dr. Geeta Pardeshi (India)
Individual and contextual factors associated with prevalence of Tuberculosis in India: A multilevel analysis of National Family Health Survey 2015-2016.
What inspired your interest in public health? As a medical student, I was fascinated by the history of public health, especially John Snow’s investigation of the Cholera outbreak in London and the global efforts for Smallpox eradication. A specialization in Community Medicine and subsequent experience in various set-ups have deepened my interest in the subject. It has also allowed me to understand and apply essential principles of coordination across sectors, empowering communities, ensuring equity, and inspiring innovation. I am keen to augment my knowledge and skills in this field. Being a faculty enables me to share my learnings with my students and colleagues. It will also help me in designing appropriate solutions for an array of public health problems in India.
Dr. Grace Kabaniha (Uganda/India)
Inefficiencies arising from Provider payment mechanisms in Three States in India.
What inspired your interest in public health? To turn off the tap upstream!!! I was working as a medical officer in a Pediatric HIV AIDS facility called Baylor College of Medicine Children’s Foundation-Uganda. At that time, I was overwhelmed by the increasing numbers of children that we were diagnosing with HIV/AIDs and enrolling into care. For some reason, I kept seeing this mental image of running water from a tap and we were on the receiving end of the never-ending stream of water. I had very little idea of policy or public health at that point but I resolved in my heart that working at an individual level whilst rewarding in and of itself, was also not efficient and I could do more to benefit greater number of people at the policy level than at the clinical level. Armed with this understanding, I decided to switch to a career in public health and have not looked back since!
Dr. Karla Unger (Mexico)
Estimating unmet healthcare needs of cancer patients in Mexico
What inspired your interest in public health? I became interested in public health in my last year of medical school, during a social service placement at a public institution where I observed underprivileged women presenting with very advanced cancers and not being able to afford treatment. This got me interested in understanding the barriers that these populations face when they need medical care for cancer in Mexico, and in developing strategies to improve their access to care.
Dr. Kazuhiro Abe (Japan)
The effectiveness of long-term care services, including in-home services, day services, and short-stay services, for home-dwelling older people
What inspired your interest in public health? In the aging population in Japan, to provide medical treatments to patients who have difficulty coming to the outpatient clinic, I regularly visit the patients’ home and nursing homes as a family physician. In such a context, I become to be interested in research on the effectiveness of long-term care services for home-dwelling patients and their families.
Dr. Lilah Rinsky (Israel)
Effect of Changing Occupational Patterns in given Medical Aspects on the Longevity of Working Life among Israeli Working Elderlies, including an International Comparison
What inspired your interest in public health? From an early age, I was drawn to the subject of human health and well-being. Eventually, I studied medicine and completed a Ph.D. in neurobiology. During my first residency in internal medicine, I was exposed to older people’s morbidity, which could have been avoided at a small cost if they had been treated at the primary or secondary prevention level. I realized that most patients came to me in a damage control phase when it was already difficult to treat the underlying cause of their illness. Besides, I worked at the single patient level, with no access to the population level. It was this clinical experience that made me appreciate the great value of preventive medicine and population health and I found a clinical area that incorporates these principles – occupational medicine. This field attracted me because it includes the possibility of carrying out interventional projects at a large population level (in factories, organizations and other workplaces) and enables varied clinical and epidemiological research on public health issues.
Dr. Minsoo Jung (South Korea)
What inspired your interest in public health? I majored in sociology at the undergraduate level. Learning the theory of health inequality in the course of social class has influenced my career decision. Eventually, I went to the graduate school of public health and studied health sociology. Since then, looking at health from the perspective of inequality has become my main research topic. I work primarily on people who have been excluded from a society or are vulnerable to health: people with HIV/AIDS, female sex workers, mothers with children, or people living in the lowest socioeconomic status. Understanding why these diverse groups are susceptible to certain diseases and dying prematurely is a critical health challenge. To answer this question, I analyze the data of individuals in terms of behavioral science and at the same time analyze the community and network in which they are embedded in terms of social context. I hope that my research using multilevel combined data can prevent diseases and promote health in minority groups.
Dr. Reiko Miyahara (Japan)
Identifying high-risk group clusters based on multilevel data in high TB countries
What inspired your interest in public health? When I was a medical student, I travelled to Asian countries and visited some health facilities where they cared for socially vulnerable people and HIV patients. I was shocked to see the inequality in health care and prejudice toward people living with infectious diseases such as HIV and TB. We know how we treat and prevent HIV, TB and the other infections, but sometimes we could not provide the effective treatment and preventive methods for all people, especially for the socially vulnerable who are likely to be involved in high-risk groups. Since then, I’m interested in how we can provide effective treatment for high-risk populations. During my research career, I have been involved in several clinical studies identifying genetic and social risks of infectious diseases to control global health infections. I would like to learn more about how we can link research results with the implementation of strategy and policy.
Dr. Sunny Ibeneme (Nigeria)
Impacts of Global Health Initiatives on the Nigerian Health System
What inspired your interest in public health? The year was 2010. I had been posted for the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) in Zamfara State, Nigeria, to earn N9000 a month working at the State Hospital as a medical officer. The hospital had perhaps ten wards, and a handful of doctors. We sat in outpatient clinics for hours, attending to the patients that trouped from the surrounding towns to receive free healthcare. Twice or thrice a week, I was also on call, covering the entire hospital. Many times, I was on my feet from dusk to dawn, treating everything from cerebral malaria in the pediatric ward to stroke in the adult section. The drudgery was driving me mad until I stopped focusing on myself, and I truly saw them– the children in pain, the women who seemed unable to make the simplest of health decisions. I saw them and my boredom gave way to purpose. Over the next few months, I spent hours in between patient visits and all-nighters on call, drafting plans, raising funds, and carrying out health projects in the surrounding villages. I needed help of course. So, I called the MTN regional manager nearly 100 times by his own admission, until he said yes. I walked one day for nearly three hours across the state capital, pitching to bank managers, government officials, everyone who would listen to me. I befriended two business café owners, because with neither laptop nor money, proposals needed to be typed and printed, somehow. The rest of NYSC was eventful but interesting– I was too busy trying to help as many people as possible, to worry about the harsh weather, the workload, and poor salaries. I wanted to contribute my quota in improving community wellness and population health outcomes through active public participation, strong political focus and robust quantitative measurements.
Second Year Takemi Fellows
Dr. Omar Karlsson (Sweden)
Dr. Caroline Benski (Switzerland)
Ms. Michelle Amri (Canada)
Investigating the World Health Organization’s concept of health equity and translation to policy and practice
What inspired your interest in public health? Ultimately, my interest in public health lies in the idea that health is more than “absence of disease or infirmity”: it is about one’s capabilities and opportunities to live a long, healthy, and enjoyable life. Further, I strongly believe that bettering one’s surroundings (i.e., their social determinants of health) has the greatest positive impact on health, and I have accordingly dedicated my pursuits to this end. Rather than contributing our collective resources to health issues in a reactive way, proactively addressing the root causes of issues and tackling ill health through public policy changes to bring about improvements is particularly attractive to me. As such, my interest in and aspiration to better population health and well-being is aligned with the aim of reducing health inequities between people.