Our People

My Top 5 reasons why eHA is the best place to be an intern

By Samura Bangura

Procurement Intern at eHealth Africa (eHA) Sierra Leone  in the Operations department

Procurement Intern at eHealth Africa (eHA) Sierra Leone in the Operations department

I am Samura Bangura, a Financial Services graduate from the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), University of Sierra Leone.  I am currently completing a diploma course in Supply Chain Management. I joined the eHA team in January 2019. eHealth Africa is a go-to place for a wonderful internship experience. I will tell you why:

1. At eHealth Africa, I am gaining the requisite skills and experience to begin my career

I joined eHA, believing the opportunity would help me reach my career goals and sharpen my skill set. I do not regret joining the team. I have always wanted to serve in an organization that would give me the experience I need to begin my career. At eHA, I am able to put into practice what I had learned during my four years at the University and learn new skills.

2. eHealth Africa is a technology-driven organization

I remember thinking that the procurement unit had so many tasks and processes that I was not conversant with, and was worried that I wouldn’t be able to master them. One of the first things that struck me about eHA was the use of technology to make working more efficient. Technology aids almost all processes, including the signing of documents. I was like; “wow! this is great’’. There was so much to learn. I learned how to use different apps and platforms for financial management, document storage, and even task management.

3. Opportunity for learning and growth

At eHA, I have learned so much in a short time. Now, I know how to execute a procurement process, from bid evaluation to processing vendor payments. I also learned how to do administrative tasks for the procurement department, including organizing procurement committee meetings! All this, within just a few months of starting my internship with eHA. I love the fact that eHealth Africa provides opportunities for everyone to learn and grow in their career and in any other areas of interest. One of my biggest takeaways from eHA is to deliver every task with utmost diligence. The experiences and knowledge that I have gained will be mine for the rest of my life. I am very grateful to eHA.

4. Staff are welcoming and eager to help

I love working at eHealth Africa! My colleagues ae very welcoming and eager to help. By the third day of my internship, I quickly realized that there was no need to worry because my supervisor is very inspiring, hardworking and patient with me. She trained me  one on one, for a week, so that I would be accustomed to how things are done in the procurement unit. She encouraged me to ask questions and to seek clarification whenever I was unsure of something.
5. Interns are truly part of the team
It’s true, no one treats me differently, even though I am an intern. We are included in all aspects of the organization and our work is just as invaluable as any other team members’. There’s no sense of “real staff” vs. “interns”, we are all one team. For example, the procurement team in Sierra Leone was commended for being the Team of the Quarter, during an employee event on 29th of March 2019, marking the end of the first quarter.

Samura receiving a certificate from Jatin Hiranandani, Deputy Director, Operations

Samura receiving a certificate from Jatin Hiranandani, Deputy Director, Operations

I feel proud to be part of the winning team. Surprisingly, as an intern, I was also given a certificate, even though I wasn’t expecting one. This shows that eHA does not discriminate between regular staff and interns.
— Samura Bangura
Team of the Quarter- Procurement Team

Team of the Quarter- Procurement Team

Are you interested in applying for an internship with eHA? Click here to see the list of open internships and apply now.

Meet the Team: Muhammed-Naziru Halliru

Meet Muhammed-Naziru Halliru, a State Coordinator with our program delivery team!

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Naziru is involved in planning, organizing and delivering activities to ensure that the objectives of the Geo-Referenced Infrastructure and Demographic Data for Development (GRID3) project are achieved. Following the mapping of the 36 states of Nigeria, he coordinated stakeholder engagement at the state level to garner government support for the use and application of geospatial data for better economic planning, resource distribution and decision making across a variety of sectors including health, education, agriculture, housing, and transport.

In addition to this, he supports capacity building activities for data managers at the State Ministry of Health, State Primary Health Care Management Board and the Health Management Information System department to equip them to manage, analyze and use the data stored on the GRID3 portal.

Although he has been with eHealth Africa for only a year, Naziru has made very significant contributions to his team and project. Under his supervision, the GRID3 project mapped 10 states across three geopolitical zones: North Central, North East, and North West and collected geospatial data on 19 point of interest categories. This data has been instrumental in improving the impact and effectiveness of polio eradication efforts in these states.

Naziru credits eHA with his new exposure and familiarity with technological tools which have enabled him to achieve his work goals more efficiently. eHA, according to him, has improved his communication and stakeholder engagement skills, which he believes will be invaluable to him in the long run.

I am particularly proud that I am now able to use modern data management systems and technologies to deliver my role successfully. My work at eHealth Africa has also given me the opportunity to meet and engage with high-profile government officials including governors to advocate for the use of reliable geospatial data for better decision- making.
— Muhammed-Naziru

Meet the Team - Sylvia Kalley

Meet Sylvia Kalley, our Grants and Contracts Senior Manager,  who works in our Sierra Leone office!

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Sylvia joined eHealth Africa (eHA) approximately 2 years ago. She plays an integral role at eHA, as she supports the entire project and program portfolio of eHA, across our country offices. She leads the grants and contracts department and is ultimately responsible for the effective management of the full life cycle of projects, from pre-award to close-out.

She manages a team of four, who all contribute to ensuring that the Grants Management office meets the requirements of our clients. When Sylvia first joined the team, she focused on identifying gaps with regards to Grants Management and better internal controls for meeting donor requirements and fostering accountability, in her first year. Now, in her second year, she leads her team to address those gaps and create solutions for better grants and contracts management.

Sylvia’s biggest contribution has been the formalizing of the Grants Management Office including the establishment of the New Business Development Department. Having a formalized office allows for a one to one ratio between a member of our department and each contract within the eHA portfolio. This oversight allows the organization to meet the requirements of each of its contracts as well as improve our credibility with our clients.

Sylvia is particularly proud of her achievements in streamlining the Award Set Up Process for the organization. Before the establishment of this process, visibility regarding signed contracts was quite limited to a few. In collaboration with the larger Finance & Administration team, they created a thorough award set up and project extension notice which provides key information to set up a project in their accounting system once the official contract is signed.

We are happy and proud to have Sylvia as part of our eHealth Africa team.

Would you like to be a part of our team? Click here to find out more.

Welcoming Micheline Ntiru to eHealth Africa’s Board of Directors

At eHealth Africa, our greatest strength is our people. We believe in attracting and working with passionate, motivated individuals who add value to the work that we do to build stronger health systems across Africa. We are pleased to announce the appointment of Micheline Ntiru as a member of eHA’s Board of Directors.

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Micheline joins Andrew Karlyn, My T. Le and our Executive Directors, Evelyn Castle and Adam Thompson to provide professional governance, mentorship to senior leadership, guidance on critical organizational functions, and global representation in order to support and strengthen eHA.

Micheline has 20 years of experience in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) growth, impact investment, sustainability, and public health management globally. She is a coach and business facilitator for the SEED Program at Stanford University’s Global Business School, an initiative to transform business and leadership practice among high-performing CEOs of SMEs in Africa. In addition, she provides portfolio and deal structuring advice to private equity and venture capital investors in Europe and North America.

Within the public health space, she has held several management and advisory positions with leading nonprofit organizations such as Care International and Helen Keller International, on thematic areas such as maternal and child health, Malaria and HIV/AIDS and public health nutrition.

To learn more about Micheline and the other members of our Board of Directors, visit the “Our People” page on our website. We look forward to working with her in the months and years to come.

Three things I learned at the 2018 ASLM Conference

By Tolulope Oginni

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At eHealth Africa, we aspire to operate effective laboratories that use state-of-the-art tools and technologies to collect, analyze and disseminate usable, reliable data that can help governments, stakeholders and the health system in general, to mount appropriate responses to public health threats.

The 4th conference of the African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM) was held in Abuja, Nigeria from 10-13 December 2018. This year, the focus was on “Preventing and Controlling the Next Pandemic”. The event provided a platform for stakeholders in the international laboratory medicine community to address issues, share best practices and develop innovative approaches to combat current and emerging health threats.

Conferences are an exciting, interactive way to learn new things in any field. I was excited to attend the 2018 ASLM conference with a colleague from our Sokoto Meningitis Lab. Here are three new things I learned.

1. The need for labs to adopt External Quality Assurance (EQA) to improve their laboratory processes and performance

External quality assurance is a system for objectively checking a lab’s performance and processes by comparing it against an external agency or facility. EQA helps to identify systematic problems associated with kits and operations so that corrective action can be taken immediately. By participating in external quality assurance, training needs and capability gaps among lab staff can be identified and solved so that the lab can produce more accurate and reliable results. This is especially important for labs in Africa which are the backbones of disease surveillance and response.

2. Increasing efficiency in lab diagnosis and testing

One of the resounding themes at the 2018 conference was the need for labs across Africa to learn and adopt modern testing techniques such as Multiplexing and microfluidic assays in their operations. Multiplexing and microfluidic assays allow various investigative procedures to be simultaneously conducted on two or more analytes—chemical components of interest—using the same biological sample. By reducing the time spent preparing samples and conducting multiple tests, it boosts efficiency and reduces wastage.

3. Collaboration in public health research

At eHealth Africa, we design and partner in public health laboratory research in order to contribute to the body of knowledge and increase access to quality information in the field of laboratory and diagnostics in Africa. We are currently collaborating with the International Foundation Against Infectious Disease in Nigeria (IFAIN) and University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) on an investigative device that can increase access to sickle cell diagnostic services to low resource settings. In addition, we are collaborating with Sokoto state government to provide round-the-year laboratory-based meningitis surveillance in Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara state.

However, public health research in Africa is a field that is still largely untapped and one which requires a lot of strengthening. I was very pleased when the conference devoted an entire pre-workshop conference to Manuscript writing and research conceptualization. In addition, it gave me the opportunity to meet Professor Iruka Okeke, a professor of Microbiology whose work I have followed since my days as an undergraduate. One of the plenary sessions focused on synergizing partnerships which I believe is important for growth in this field. As one of the speakers said, “...the problem with public health research in Africa is not a lack of partners but lack of coordination of the many activities conducted by various partners.”

With friends at the conference

With friends at the conference

It is imperative that labs in Africa position themselves properly to support epidemiological surveillance systems. In West Africa especially, labs must do more to meet the standards set by their counterparts in Southern and Eastern Africa international accreditation such as ISO 15189. A large number of accredited labs in Nigeria are government-owned research labs. Work still needs to be done by privately- owned labs to attain this accreditation. In the face of emerging public health issues, now more than ever, efforts must be made to strengthen public-private partnerships and participation in laboratory medicine.

Meet the Team - Charles Otaigbe

Meet Charles Otaigbe, a groundskeeper at our Kano campus!

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Charles joined eHealth Africa four years ago and was one of the staff who made our move to our present facility on Independence Road smoother. He keeps our grounds looking clean and beautiful by taking care of our lawns, flowers and outdoor pest control.

At eHealth Africa, every team member is valued for what they bring to the table. This, in particular, is what Charles loves best about eHealth Africa. He believes that the work environment contributes greatly to staff productivity.

Even though I am not a core project or programs staff, I know that I have contributed to the success of eHealth Africa by doing my work diligently and this makes me proud.
— Charles Otaigbe

We are proud to have Charles on our team.

Are you interested in joining our team? Click here to find the perfect spot.