Welcome to 2021!
AH is pleased to introduce its young Scholar of the month of January 2021, Sheila Mburu from Kenya!
Sheila is a global health research professional with over 5 years of experience in international development research, and she has previously worked in The Gambia and Rwanda.
She is a research and policy officer, who works at the UK Collaborative on Development Research based in the UK, where she leads on the organisations Global Health activities, and convenes two of UKCDR’s cross-funder groups focused on global health research – The Health Funders Forum (HFF) and the UKCDR Epidemics Preparedness and Response Group. Both groups bring together major UK funders of global health research such as The Department for International Development (DFID), Wellcome Trust, The Department of Health and Social Care and UK Research and Innovation.
Sheila graduated with an MSci in Biochemistry & Genetics from Nottingham University, and an MSc degree in Nutrition for Global Health from the London School of Tropical Hygiene & Medicine (LSHTM), and upon graduation, she was awarded the John Rivers Prize for “Student who showed most promise”. In 2011, she was also selected as one of the 100 most promising black graduates in the UK by Future Leaders Magazine, an annual publication which profiles 100 of the UK’s most outstanding African and African Caribbean students and new graduates.
Prior to her current role, Sheila worked World Health Organization Rwanda country office where her work focussed on nutrition and NCDs. At WHO, she supported with the drafting of Rwanda’s national protocol for strengthening nutrition surveillance of stunting in children under 5, as well as surveys on malnutrition in Rwandan refugee camps and as a member of the UN Communications Group, participated in the implementation of The United Nations Joint Communications strategy. At WHO, Sheila was a key editor of WHO Rwanda’s 2012-2013 biennial report and developed the first Twitter and Facebook account for the organisation. Lastly, whilst at WHO, she co-authored a paper in a book chapter on brain drain caused by the recruitment of health workers from sub-Saharan Africa to developed countries.
Sheila is incredibly passionate about profiling and promoting African research and researchers, and believes that research and innovation will play a key role in supporting African Development, and working towards building the “Africa We Want” and achieving the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Therefore, she is keen to highlight and support the work of African researchers and has started a new social media (Instagram) page working towards that (@afrijournals), and highlighting the greatest African minds working on science, research and innovation.
Her advice for other early career researchers from Africa is to continue to work hard and remember that solutions to the development challenges within Africa will come from African minds. So keep working hard, continue to pursue opportunities to develop yourself, and don’t allow yourself to be convinced that what you have to contribute is not valuable. You have the ability to not only change the narrative but also the trajectory of Africa in the next few decades – never forget that!
You can be the next Young Scholar of the month! Nominate here!