I am Shabirah Pergande, a second-year student at Uppsala University in Sweden, currently pursuing a Master’s program in Global Health. During my internship at Makerere University’s Centre of Excellence for Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, hosted by the Makerere University School of Public Health, I had the privilege of working on a substantial project focused on ‘Congenital abnormalities in Uganda.’ This internship experience has been instrumental in my personal and professional development.
Throughout my three-month internship, I had the opportunity to collaborate effectively with a dedicated supervisor, project teams, and the communities I engaged with. Despite the challenges of long commutes to the central offices and remote work, we maintained efficient communication through emails, messages, and collaborative tools, ensuring that I remained on track.
My responsibilities during this period included conducting comprehensive online research to identify challenges and gaps related to congenital abnormalities in Uganda. Additionally, I was involved in various other projects, such as creating a blog addressing contraceptive use among adolescents in Uganda and actively participating in a research team conducting a newborn situation analysis.
This internship experience has had a profound impact on me, instilling in me the motivation and conviction to pursue a career in global health and research. It allowed me to immerse myself in the realities of global health in Uganda and witness the tangible impact of research. This experience not only boosted my confidence but also deepened my understanding of maternal, newborn, and child health. Interestingly, despite my Ugandan background, this internship equipped me with multicultural communication skills, adaptability, and a global mindset, all of which I believe will be invaluable in my pursuit of a successful international career.
I would like to express my special appreciation to Professor Peter Waiswa for his mentorship and the time he dedicated to me, despite his busy schedule. His guidance and connections to various research associates at the Makerere University School of Public Health have been invaluable. This internship experience has been transformative, leaving no stone unturned in my pursuit of a career in global health and research.
Written by Shabirah Pergande
MNCH Centre Internee