Before coming to the UK on her Chevening Scholarship, Lundi-Anne Omam Ngo Bibaa was working at a national NGO in Cameroon, coordinating and leading the implementation of public health programs in hard-to-reach communities.
She wanted to build her skills and knowledge to make a bigger impact. To achieve this, she chose to study a Master’s in Global Health Systems Theory and Policy at Queen Mary, University of London.
What were your most memorable moments at Queen Mary?
Studying together with a diverse group of health professionals from different nationalities was what I enjoyed the most.
I think Queen Mary embodies the meaning of the term “diversity”. I had the feeling of “being at home away from home” as I met and connected with friends from different nationalities.
Throughout the course, we supported each other with our presentations and essays and studied together during exams.
What are you doing now and how did your time at Queen Mary help you get there?
Currently I am doing a PhD in Public Health and Primary Care at the University of Cambridge.
My Master’s degree from Queen Mary gave me a competitive advantage for my admission to the University of Cambridge.
It also prepared me to contribute to the evidence-based learning needed to inform Health Policy and Practice for disadvantaged communities that I serve and design programs for.
What made you choose the field you’re working in right now?
The modules on health inequalities, social determinants of health and evidence-based research I took during my Master’s degree.
Queen Mary shaped my reflections on how I could contribute towards impacting and improving health outcomes for the communities I serve.
After I returned to my home country after my Master’s degree from Queen Mary, I met a humanitarian crisis resulting from an armed conflict in the communities I used to work with. I had to transition from development-oriented programs to working in a humanitarian context.
While coordinating humanitarian programs, I observed the unavoidable differences in access to healthcare for many displaced communities impacted by the conflict. This was coupled to the loss of human rights, limited means of communication, low socio-economic status, increased insecurity for gunshots, frequent curfews, and burning down of villages causing populations to live in bushes. These determinants affected the way services were designed and delivered to affected communities.
I observed some gaps in the service delivery approaches used by the humanitarian community and saw this as an opportunity to contribute to the evidence-based learning on healthcare delivery in conflict-affected settings.
This was the reason behind my PhD research, which focuses on healthcare delivery models for conflict-affected settings in Cameroon and Nigeria.
In your career to date, what achievements are you most proud of?
I was one of the first women to have led large-scale humanitarian responses to internally displaced people residing in communities with very high levels of insecurity.
The programs I led provided lifesaving assistance to hundreds of internally displaced persons.
A few of the successes recorded in humanitarian programming are shared in the following papers on mobile clinics and humanitarian led, community based surveillance.
What are the open questions you would like to see addressed in your field?
- How could approaches used to deliver health care in humanitarian settings be sustained?
- How cost-effective are the strategies used to providing health care in humanitarian settings?
- How can humanitarian organisations be more accountable to the communities they serve?
What advice do you have for students interested in pursuing careers Global Health Systems Theory and Policy?
Be passionate about making a difference in Global Health. It’s a very complex, yet interesting field.
The wicked problems we see globally have solutions to them and consider yourself a part of what is needed to bring solutions to these problems.
Always reflect on the modules that marked you and make use of the learnings from these modules to positively contribute towards improving health outcomes in populations around the world.