CGHP, Global Health, and Me
By Kimberly Badoe, Programme Officer
In this blog we learn a more about our new Programme Officer, Kimberly, and her journey into global health.
Kimberly joined CGHP as Programme Officer in early 2021. She holds a master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Warwick. Kimberly has experience researching global health and health policy as well as experience planning health outreaches in Ghana and working in NHS Trusts.
I’ve been at CGHP for just over a month now and I must say it’s been a great experience so far. It was definitely a different experience travelling during this pandemic, coming back to a cold ‘locked down’ UK from Ghana, and starting a new job; however, it has been lovely being welcomed by a supportive, collaborative team and wider ACT team. It has also been wonderful getting to meet our various partners and learning about our various exciting partnerships and the role I play as Programme Officer, in supporting them.
It’s interesting because not only did my physical journey to CGHP begin in Ghana, so did my journey of arriving at global health as a passion and career choice. Since high school that is, I’ve had a long-standing interest in health, health improvement and improvement of social and health inequalities, particularly in LMIC settings. This is reflected in the subjects I chose and those that I did the best in, my summer placement at a local pharmaceutical company after my IGCSEs, and the Community Action Service (CAS) activities that I took part in as part of my International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
I graduated high school with the plan to study Biomedical Science at university. While at university, I decided to join and become my university’s founding secretary for the ‘UNICEF on Campus’ society. We brainstormed different fundraisers and collected donations to support the various ongoing initiatives UNICEF was taking on at the time. It was great to see first-hand how our contributions were supporting the safety, health and education of children around the world. During this time, I also developed an interest in and wanted to acquire knowledge about healthcare systems and how professionals work and decided to do a summer shadowing placement at The Trust Hospital, a public hospital back home in Ghana.
The placement was an amazing eye-opener to the way things work in a public hospital in Accra. I got to see the efficiencies and weaknesses of the way professionals work in these settings. It was admirable to see how some doctors would switch languages at the drop of a hat to suit patients comfortability, to ensure all the patients’ problems were being documented and in order to address them. It was also great to see the strength in teamwork in that particular hospital, and its positive effects on patient prognoses. However, issues such as staff shortages meant that a patient passed away not long after she arrived because the only professional available to treat her condition was not on his shift at that time. I also noted a lack of electronic health systems and a heavy reliance on paper for patient data, which could put data at risk of theft and/or loss. It was a very enriching experience, which definitely fuelled my desire to enhance health and healthcare systems in my country and other LMICs.
By the time I got to doing my masters, I had worked in the NHS and then decided I was going to be pursuing Global Health. During the course, I earned a placement with The Agency for Scientific Research and Training in Malawi and worked remotely with my supervisors to compile a report on the currently disconnected e-health systems in Malawi, and ways to improve them moving forward. This placement reinforced the need for overarching e-health systems in many African countries and the benefits (and barriers to this) that would present.
This pandemic has reinforced the importance of health partnerships. It has highlighted ports for healthcare system strengthening on both sides of the global North-South relationship. I am very happy to be joining CGHP because health partnerships are important contributors in enhancing global health. The bidirectional exchange of knowledge, skills and experiences is so enriching and beneficial. It is my hope to continue to support CGHP in growth and to expand our exciting partnerships as much as possible.
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