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Eze Nwamaka

Eze Nwamaka, a Master's in Public Health graduate, tells us about her role at a public health consulting firm and about the series of podcasts she started called 'Coronavirus Logues' which aim to dispel myths and share information to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 in Nigeria:

"Nigeria’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced on 27 February 2020. This announcement came along with fears as well as misconceptions among Nigerians – misconceptions which became a major challenge to public health efforts to limit the spread of the novel virus. Nonetheless, Nigeria’s effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus is jointly coordinated by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) supervised by the Federal Ministry of Health and the Presidential COVID-19 Taskforce. While the NCDC is primarily responsible for the coordination of case monitoring, contact tracing, and treatment, the Presidential task force ensure strategies are in place to flatten the curve and reduce transmission of the virus.

To complement the health education effort of the health agencies, I started a series of podcasts titled Coronavirus Logues with my friend who runs a podcast called Easy Nwanne. The podcast is an initiative by a group of young Nigerians to promote the rich Nigerian culture to the world. However, with the pandemic situation, we leverage the platform to create the Coronavirus Logues. The Coronavirus Logues sessions aim to dispel public misconceptions about Coronavirus and to educate Nigerians on the need to take responsibility in efforts to reduce the spread of the virus. Notable among our sessions was the COVID-19 MythBusters in Pidgin English, which is a popular language for communication among many Nigerians regardless of class or age. We adopted the content from the WHO guidelines and recruited volunteer frontline health workers from different parts of Nigeria to deliver it in Pidgin English. Also, Pidgin is understood by other west African countries, therefore this material can be used for a vast audience.

I combined these activities with my full-time role as an intern at Solina Center for International Development and Research (SCIDaR) a public health consulting firm located in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Abuja, where I am currently undertaking the year-long mandatory National Youth Service Corps-(NYSC) program. In my role, I support the team to develop technical reports and implement interventions for strengthening routine immunization in northern Nigeria, especially in underserved communities. Through this responsibility, I apply my analytical and problem-solving skills to identify implementation gaps in programs as well as recommend possible interventions that best enhance the integrity and sustainability of the programs. In addition to this, I support the team to organize learning forums for the coordinating health agencies in some northern states to exchange lessons for best practices and discuss challenges experienced while implementing health programs. In light of COVID-19 realities we currently support some Northern states to ensure the continuity of other services especially routine immunization and Primary Health Care (PHC) to avoid long term consequences of children who missed vaccines.

My story would not be complete without acknowledging the impact my journey at the Warwick Medical School had on my career. I enrolled for a post-graduate (Masters) in Public health, MPH, in 2018 under the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship. During my time at Warwick, I chose the Global Health pathway which apprised me of current themes, fundamental knowledge and skills needed to understand and address current global health challenges. This has played a fundamental role in my contribution to fight against COVID-19 and my job."