My Trip To Nigeria Essay

1211 Words5 Pages
During my numerous trips to Nigeria to visit my extended family, I saw firsthand how international health disparities can affect communities. It is often challenging to make the highest standard of care available to all groups and individuals here, and I became increasingly motivated to devote myself to the mission of reducing health disparities in African countries. People in my family, regardless of societal class, suffered from various illnesses including HIV/AIDS, malaria, and polio because of poor access to quality healthcare services. My goal is to return to underserved communities in both the United States and Nigeria after being armed with the training from the University of Michigan School of Information and the School of Public Health…show more content…
My parents told me about the time where I barely came back alive from my first trip to Nigeria as an infant. On this trip, I was having health complications and I spent almost a week unable to retain the baby food that I was being fed at the time. My parents tried to take me to our village’s local pharmacy, but the employees there could not provide any answers on my condition.
My parents were unable to bring me to a hospital because the nearest one to our village was too far away. As time went on, my condition continued to worsen to a critical state. However, on one of the last days of the trip, I finally stopped rejecting food after my parents coincidentally switched the baby food flavor that they were feeding me. It was later confirmed when we returned to the United States that I was allergic to one of the flavors in the baby food.
After hearing about this experience from my infancy, I immediately asked myself why this simple diagnosis could not have been assessed in Nigeria. If my family could have accessed a hospital in Nigeria to consult a professional, this ordeal may not have lasted for as long as it did. I proceeded to ask additional questions, such as how many avoidable casualties occur in Nigeria due to the lack of access to quality healthcare. My personal experience changed the way that I view analysis on health. Behind all of the statistics or
…show more content…
In order to become more active in international health matters, I strive to be involved in an analytics research group that uses data to improve public health in disadvantaged communities. My particular interests lie within community health informatics to understand the connection between where people live and the effects on their health. Similar to how the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention uses population-level data from disease surveillance systems to predict trends and draw conclusions, I plan to use my knowledge and experiences to leverage large-scale data from population-level epidemiology to contribute to international healthcare infrastructures. For instance, with the ownership of cell phones becoming increasingly common in Nigeria, we can use these smartphones to empower Nigerians with knowledge of disease symptoms, treatments, and activity. Having this knowledge at hand can assist with reducing misconceptions and stigmas of modern healthcare, staying up to date with disease trends or outbreaks, and hopefully preventing people from going to the hospital. After acquiring a Master of Health Informatics from the University of Michigan, I would draw on perspectives from my Nigerian upbringing to develop, analyze, and employ innovative technologies to inform on disease outbreaks, planning, and treatment options to make positive impacts on human
Open Document