This month, Neopenda added a new team member. Paul is joining Neopenda as our Uganda Country Coordinator. He’s bringing in a wealth of public health experience, having previously worked at the United Nations Mission for Ebola Emergency Response in Sierra Leone. We decided to catch up with Paul earlier this week so we could help you get to know him better.
Originally wanting to be a doctor, it quickly became apparent that public health was his real calling. “When I got the chance to serve in Sierra Leone, I was an Information Management Officer. I was able to interact with more experienced response personnel. One of them said to me ‘Tell me Paul, which emergency in this world is not a public health emergency?’ All humanitarian emergencies have a huge public health component,” he said. When reflecting on his work in Sierra Leone, Paul remembers most of the people he interacted with being public health officials and realized that this was a broader field that would cover all of his interests.
Making the transition to Neopenda was an easy decision for Paul. “I’ve worked with children quite a lot! I like that Neopenda is another opportunity for me to do that.” Combining the familiar fun of working with children with the unique nature of the device excited Paul. He had never seen a device have as many functions as ours, describing it as noble in a developing country context. “The devices that we have, they only measure one thing. So the idea of the four in one is nice for Uganda. To have one portable, user friendly device is quite a nice solution.”
Being a native Ugandan, Paul is passionate about ensuring the success of the device in both rural and urban communities. “I grew up largely in a rural setting. Even though I’ve had the opportunity to visit urban health care facilities, I know the situation is very dire. It is important that [the device] is universal and most suitable for both the urban and rural health care workers to use because it’s the nurses who will use it the most.”
We’re thrilled to welcome Paul to the Neopenda family this year. We know his insights and experience will be invaluable to us as we continue to grow in Uganda and beyond.