As a young aspiring African intern of the CFHI Global Health Comparative Virtual Internship, and a national of a Low Resource Country (Burundi), I would highly recommend the program to more college graduates in the relevant fields of public health as well as any entry-level professionals to participate in the virtual internship with the CFHI to gain ground in the ins-and-outs of how international NGOs promote health for all and intervene holistically in sometimes-familiar settings as the ones I come from; while gaining cultural exposure and learning to team work with like-minded global health professionals
The internship taught me that sometimes less is better. As a prospective global health professional born and raised in Africa but educated at a medical college outside the continent, I had to experience major incongruities between the theoretical framework of medicine and the efforts needed to implement health equity in hospital settings and community health services. To understand how this gap applies less extensively in the social and economic settings of African LMICs, I had to surmise how the fine line between the two fields affect health delivery and outcomes, and how I can participate in bettering the healthcare systems of my continent in the near future.
Due to the short-bits format of the teachings I received during Dr. Charles Nwobu’s online lectures in Ghana, Dr. Hema Pandey from India, as well as the Director’s Seminars and multinational Global Health Roundtables, I was able to capture the essence of cultural effectiveness and adaptability as the bases of successful collaborative efforts to bring affordable and accessible healthcare for all. Additionally, as an intern under the Outpatient & Community Health Services Department of Village Health Works—an international NGO based in New York and Burundi, I am now using the knowledge I acquired to help build self-reliant community health systems in Kigutu, one of the most remote regions of the country.
I am grateful to have been awarded the Thomas Hall Scholars Program scholarship for the virtual internship and hope to see more young aspiring global health professionals enroll in the different programs CFHI has to offer.
What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Dr. Charles Nwobu’ s thoughtful advice for medical college graduates like myself to participate in elective “housemanships” (the african equivalent of medical residency programs) to better understand the health systems and get familiar with endemic diseases of the continent.