Makerere University, Uganda (2007-2010), University of Southern Denmark (2012-2014), Utrecht University (2016- to date)
Master of Public Health, PhD in progress (Adolescent health)
NETWAS Uganda, Global Health Corps, World Health Organization, KEMRI
PhD research student
Favourite thing to do in my job: translating science in to valuable practice
A curious and enthusiastic researcher in Public health with an interest on Adolescent issues
I am a PhD research student registered with Utrecht University in Netherlands and conducting my research work here in Kilifi at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI). My research project focuses on adolescents, that is to say young people of ages 10-19 years. Specifically, I am interested in understanding their behavior such as sexual behavior, dietary habits, physical activity, substance use, among others, and what exactly (in terms of social, biological, physical environment) influences their decisions to engage in these forms of behavior. By understanding these issues, researchers, program managers, policy makers and other professionals are in better position to help and support young people to live a healthier and productive life. I have recently worked on research projects and programs on such issues in Uganda. Besides my academic and research work, I am an outgoing person who enjoys traveling, sports (particularly basketball, football and swimming) and music. I love catching up and chatting with young people and colleagues on various issues around the globe.
My Typical Day
My typical day begins at 7.30 and ends by 6 pm and comprises various interesting but challenging tasks.
I am often up by 6 am (thanks to my annoyingly loud alarm clock) and normally will arrive at the office by 7.30 am. I kick off with a cup of coffee, check out my emails and then prioritize my day’s tasks. Often, I am reading, analyzing data and putting together reports (or manuscripts) on issues surrounding HIV, adolescence and health behavior and this will depend on the priority of assignments at hand. If the day’s priority is to visit the community, for instance to collect data (some information related to my research work), then I am typically out in the community for a bigger part of the day. I often grab and quick lunch in between 1 pm and 2 pm, head back to the office to complete my day’s checklist. By 6 pm, I switch off my computer, ready to kick off the evening and relax at my place. I spend some evenings playing basket ball at the Pwani University court. By 7-8 pm, I prepare myself a meal and off to bed by 10 pm.
What I'd do with the money
Facilitate external and in-school behavioral guidance and counseling sessions.
Young people may often lack access to information or lack the platform to express some of their needs and challenges as they develop through the adolescence life stage. They also need life coping skills, career guidance as well as emotional support for them to become responsible and productive citizens. If I winn the prize money, I would use it to devise more feasible solutions (interactive and educative) by facilitating trained counselors and researchers to visit young people for instance in schools or organize events during the weekend and talk about “life-issues”. I would incorporate audio-visual and other innovative edutainment platforms so that health messages are well received and constructive dialogue built around adolescent livelihood.
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Passionate, cool and curious
What was your favourite subject at school?
biology and agriculture
What did you want to be after you left school?
A public health specialist
Were you ever in trouble at school?
a couple of times i dodged early morning preps
If you weren't a scientist, what would you be?
Who is your favourite singer or band?
Luther Vandross, Chameleone (Uganda)
What's your favourite food?
Groundnut stew with fish and Matooke
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Riding in a roller coaster (but it was thrilling)
If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!
Be always be courageous, successfull and inspirational
Tell us a joke.
If you are being chased by a dog, just turn towards it and hold your head with both hands, it will think you are holding a huge stone to hit it. It will run for its safety….hahaha