Dr Ngozi is one of the youngest Africans at the forefront of Global Health Security researching on
finding vaccines of the Corona Virus and Ebola Virus as well as being a senior health advisor to the
Government of England. She is a phenomenon, somebody who is constantly breaking barriers in the
global health spaces. As we discussed her journey this past week I realized that she was truly
passionate about finding solutions for people all over the world to live healthier lives.
As we continued discussing global health, Ngozi shared a vivid memory of her experience in Guinea
where the Ebola virus was prevalent, killing many people and she was one of the youngest doctors
coming in to find better mechanisms of mitigating the virus. The issue of culture is key to health
because each community has it’s own beliefs. The health practitioner shared her experience of
having to explain to a specific Muslim community that they were not supposed to wash bodies of
their loved ones that would have died due to the Ebola virus yet some of them where defiant
because they believed that nothing would happen to them.
As the Corona Virus spreads there is serious concern globally as to how this virus might affect
people. Getting deeper into the conversation Doctor Ngozi stated that at the moment globally there
was nothing to worry about but each country has to take its own precautions to protect its people as
investigations are still ongoing. One interesting point to take note of was that the elderly were more
prone to getting infected than the younger ones but everyone was still in danger as reports suggest
that a Corona Virus case relating to a 9 month old baby was reported.
‘Unique, if the Corona Virus hit Zimbabwe would you have the mechanisms in your country to
mitigate its impact?’ That question hit me so hard yet it was obvious that I didn’t have confidence in
an already dilapidated health system and I knew that we were at the moment not even in a position
to pay our own health workers and would not be able to put those mechanisms in place well, at least
in time to mitigate effects. But isn’t that what we always do? Risk a few lives then we get into ‘panic
mode’ then ‘try’ to do something about it. Sad but true. Our Game Changer, Ladies and Gentlemen!!
Such an eye opening conversation