When I joined the medical profession, I was excited, worked hard to ensure that my career was a success, and would be able to help all those who needed my assistance without discrimination. Little did I know that my career would be problematic. It was difficult to attend to my patients whose health conditions worsened each day considering the fact that people came to the hospital from all parts of the country. All I could do was giving treatment according to the governmental guaranteed medical assistance plan, which is based only on pathogenetic and symptomatic treatments because antiviral treatment was not cost-effective to cover for the government. All that time I had only one question in my mind. The question was ‘what if I could change something?’ … I recall Dr. Paul Farmer, one of the altruistic doctors saying, “No one should have to die of a disease that is treatable”. However, for our case we did not even try to give them a hope through reducing the pain they were undergoing or saving their lives. It was not our fault not saving the lives of patients. It was because the hospital institutions lacked proper infrastructure, equipment and personnel required to run effectively a hospital institution. The suffering amongst the patients I interacted with made me develop a passion to change the systems to help the patients have hope and faith in the health sector. I felt that had a responsibility to carry out a research that would help me have a further understanding of common diseases like hepatitis. I would be able to establish the preventive and curative measures of such diseases through research.
The duties at the hospital did not limit my responsibilities. I tried to find ways to convince doctors in my level that if everyone will try to challenge the hospital administration or the governmental organizations. Through conducting a research, the doctors would be able to understand the health sector in a better way. They would use their research findings to advocate for reforms in the health sector and the system as a whole. I had a founded argument and believe that through advanced scientific studies, a revolution in the health sector would become a reality in my country. In 2009, I was fortunate to find out that Laboratory science was being offered at the University of Pittsburg. In my view, this was the first step towards the realization of my dream.
Pursuing the course at the university was quite expensive for me. It was my hope and prayer that in the presidential scholarship list the medicine students would be considered. To my disappointment, there were no any scholarships to students in the medical field. This meant that i was not in a position to enroll for a master’s program at the university. I was thus compelled to continue with my working as a doctor within and out of my country until the end of the year. In the course of 2010, I discovered that the president had given medicine students and graduates a priority in the presidential scholarship program to have a change to study abroad. It was quite a relief for me and colleagues since for the first time, the government of the day acknowledged that it was important to prioritize further studies in the health sector. The government hence gave me a chance to pursue a master’s program in Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the University of Pittsburg. The program is unique since it due to the rigorous laboratory practical’s that would enable me acquires the necessary and relevant skills and knowledge in public Health approaches of infectious diseases.