Turning obstacles into Success!

Coming from a low income country, which is burdened by HIV/AIDS has resulted into me developing an interest in the medical field and research. I lost my father to HIV/AIDs and I grew up seeing him deteriorate from the disease. Being the oldest in my family, I had to help take care of my sick father as my mother would go and look for greener pasture. All this had an impact on my social ,emotional, psychological, and physical well being.

And because of what I endured, I developed a keen interest in learning more about the disease and through that, I developed a passion to take care of the sick. From that moment, I knew I wanted to become a doctor.

After the death of my father, my mother became sick and this also affected me even more. Having to go to school and going back home to take care of my sick mother. But all this did not stop me from achieving my goals. I worked even harder and years later I managed to get into one of our biggest University in Zambia to study Medicine. Even thou all this built my character, for most young people out there it is not the case. Some fall prey to depression, drug addiction and so many more psychological disorders.

I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Human biology and Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBCHB) from The University of Zambia. During my clinical years, I had gotten more exposure to the medical world and all the different specialities it has to offer. From that, I developed an interest in working in paediatrics primarily with children living/affected with HIV/AIDs and other infectious diseases.

In line with this, my main aim is to specialize in paediatrics. I believe the well being and development of a child is influenced by so many factors: biological, environmental, social, cultural and behavioural factors.

HIV/AIDs has a very big impact on the physical, mental and social well being of a person. Children infected at birth grow into adolescents who have to deal with their HIV status. These adolescents if not properly counselled can tip into depression, drug addiction, can become suicidal with the high levels of stigmatization in my country.

And because of these burdens my country is facing, I would love to gain more insights from leading experts in developmental psychopathology. As the field of child psychology continues to evolve, I believe it is relevant for me to understand and know how to treat psychological conditions. I believe good mental health helps one live their lives to the fullest and is essential in successfully managing HIV/AIDs.

Aside studying Medicine, I am an Advocate and Adviser for The Zambian Network of Young People Living and Affected with HIV. This is an organization that was established in 2016 and aims at improving the quality of life of young people living with HIV and those affected by pursuing support, communication, and representation on issues affecting them using community structure and youth-friendly spaces.

And one of the many other things we do is psychosocial support and capacity building. Through an interaction with these youths, I have learned that there is a lot of work where psychosocial support is concerned. These youths feel neglected and most of them tend to be depressed.

In addition to my experience, I am interested in using research to help me give back to the community. I was a member of the young emerging scientists, a non profitable organisation that was established in 2018. This organisation creates a renowned career and research hub for the young scientists that is cardinal in underpinning their career progression and contribution to society.

Their mission is to provide an exception mentorship system for the state-of-the-art research to the budding scientists. Through this platform, I had come to learn the importance of research in every aspect of life. Research in health provides important information with regards to the disease trends and risk factors, outcomes of treatment or public health interventions and health care costs.

During my University years, I was actively involved in student affairs. I once served as the Publicity Secretary for the student union and later served as the vice president for The University of Zambia Medical Association. During my tenure of office, we capitalized on sensitizing the community on the various diseases affecting the nation and how to prevent them.

I also served as the Student chapter President of the Medical Women Association of Zambia.

I recently worked with Mobile Medical services and during this period I developed clinical protocols and Standard Operating Procedures for the clinic and helped come up with Quality Management system. I led and worked together with a multi-disciplinary team of clinicians to take care of patients with chronic illness at the nursing home. During this time I built up my clinical skills and profile, both nationally and internationally. I also delivered substantial contributions in leadership, teaching and management.

As a Female doctor, I have played a significant role in advocating for more Females in the STEM field and have received recognition by Magazines (Africa Arise, Africa Power Women, STEM Zambia News-letter) and platforms that recognize females in the field of STEM. Through this many females have been reached out to and encouraged to join STEM.

I am passionate and committed to giving back to my community using the knowledge, skills and experience gathered over the course of life. I have strong values built on helping others, as well as acts of generosity and kindness.

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