How did you get interested in your career path?
In Cameroon, the effects of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) especially diabetes and high blood pressure are forcing many people below the poverty line. Many more people within my community are experiencing complications like stroke, kidney failure, blindness etc resulting from these NCDs, which is currently impeding poverty reduction initiatives in the community. The haemodialysis centres in most regions experience technical breakdown from time to time leading to many deaths. This all led me to take up a research topic during my master’s degree in Epidemiology on ‘The Epidemiology of Impaired Renal function In Bamenda, Cameroon’, the results of which demonstrated a dire need for the implementation of cost effective preventive strategies at the community level. That was when Value Health Africa was born, whose mission is to reduce the burden of these diseases.
What are you most proud of in your career or otherwise?
I am proud of the creation of control clinics in underserved communities in Cameroon serving as a centre for education, early diagnosis and management of hypertension, diabetes and their pre-disposing factors.
What important career challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Given that just 5% of global funds is dedicated towards the fight against NCDs, it has been challenging raising funds to carry out projects. So far we have put up a local resource mobilization through the institution of a very strong youth led volunteering arm and through the power and dedication of the youths we are reaching the masses with our health promotion programs.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be daring! Do not be afraid of trying out new ideas.
Highlight your most significant research contributions and publications (3-5) – if relevant to you.
Epidemiology of Impaired Renal Function in Bamenda Cameroon (Under review)
Have you had any significant career mentors? If yes, please provide further details.
Yes. Dr Kenneth Yongabi (Associate Professor), Cameroon: He has encouraged and directed me in the process of building a research team within my organization. Through this we have been able to train and encourage students in considering NCDs as a priority area in research.
Dr NKwenti Davidson (President of Cameroon Diabetes Association): He has built my capacity on community education on hypertension and Diabetes.
How can we support the next generation of women scientists?
Bring women who are passionate about research together and also provide research mentors for upcoming female researchers.
Secondly by helping young women gain research scholarships.