KIT Scholarship Fund Fellows

September 2019 three students started a Masters programme at KIT with a scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund. They are studying the Master in Public Health or the Master in International Health. This is made possible thanks to donations from our donors.

We welcome this new ‘future leaders in health’. And hope that after a year at KIT they can make a difference in the health situation in their country and contribute to improving the health of many people.



I come from the state of Nagaland in India. This region with more than three million people borders Myanmar. It is a land of tribal communities where socio-economic problems are widespread.

After my MBBS graduation as a doctor, I started working under the Health & Family Welfare Department of Nagaland in different rural areas. During this period, I saw the disparity of the health status in Nagaland especially in the rural areas. I realised then that effective policy making from the ground level was necessary, so I decided to pursue my masters in an area which would help me be a part of the system so I would be able to make a difference through proper management and be the voice for the people who need it.

I am thankful to KIT for giving me this amazing opportunity to study my Masters in International Health and to KIT Scholarship Fund and it donors for supporting and enabling me to pursue my dreams. I believe the skills acquired from this programme will help me be a part of the movement to successfully educate, encourage and empower people to live a healthy life. I believe I would be able to make informed and enlightened contributions to improve the present health care system for the underprivileged communities across the borders and in my home country India, Nagaland in particular and play a significant role to help connect people and the health care system.
I hope to serve as an instrument to enhance the efficacy, effectiveness and efficiency of existing health programs and find better ways to promote health.

Oonno Jamir, Medical doctor from India studies the Master in International Health with a partial scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund. He works as Medical Officer.

My name is Merette Khalil from Cairo, Egypt. My background in public health has spanned from grassroots level advocacy, to entrepreneurship for maternal health education, to health systems research and policy. I have always been motivated by social justice and am particularly passionate about ensuring the right to health for all, especially women and girls and those in vulnerable settings.

I am grateful for the opportunity to study at KIT for my Masters, not only to sharpen my skills in health systems management, but more so to strengthen my critical thinking, leadership, and multi-cultural communication, as I learn from scholars who value equity and public health practitioners with experiences from all around the world.

I look forward to bringing the lessons and experiences back to Cairo, and to all future field assignments related to the global humanitarian agenda. I aspire to transform the landscape of maternal health, not just in Egypt, but across the surrounding Region. My dream is to reform health systems in my Region to become more gender-inclusive and equity-sensitive as they respond to the increasing pressures from escalating conflicts and increasing refugee populations. My hope is to become a catalyst for this change that would drive systems to protect, center, and serve the most vulnerable, provide access and quality care to marginalized communities, empower women and girls, and improve health equity for all. One step at a time… starting with KIT.

Merette Khalil from Egypte has a background in public health and as a Doula. She studies the Master in International Health with a partial scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund. She works as Technical office rand Doula.

My name is Melina Dzowela, from Malawi. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from the University of Malawi and I have twelve years professional experience in the management of development centred projects in in my country, particularly in the areas of Sexual Reproductive Health Rights, HIV/AIDS, Comprehensive Sexuality Education programmes targeting youth and adolescents.

I believe that key to sustainable STI and HIV prevention programmes, is ensuring availability of quality and age appropriate Youth Friendly Health Services, accessibility to Comprehensive Sexuality Education (Life Skills), existence of well-tailored impact mitigation activities, and a supportive community structure in place.

My motivation for applying for the Master of Public Health/International Course in Health Development course, track in SRHR is that this qualification will enhance my capacity to formulate effective strategies and design sustainable programmes to apply in Malawi and in the developing world.
Upon completion of the course it is my intension to continue working in non-governmental organizations that work to increase the accessibility of health facilities for all Malawians, at the same time improving the quality of service delivery at the health facilities and even community level. As my heart and special interest lies with working with adolescents and young people, it is my intention to continue coordinating programmes that facilitate a supportive environment for adolescents and young people to access their sexual and reproductive health rights.

Melina Dzowela from Malawi has a Bachelors Degree in Education. She studies the Master of Public Health, track in Sexual and Reproductive Health with a scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund. She is currently working at the Christian health Association of Malawi as an SRHR programme manager.

My name is Ramadhani, and I am an Indonesian community dentist with a physical disability. Indonesia has a population of over 260 million people living mostly in Java as the capital Island. Based on the national basic health research, 22% Indonesian population are people with disabilities. The access to good quality health care shows great differences within Indonesia. Professionals in health education are needed in my country in order to reach the optimum level of public health.

As candidate of Master in International Health at KIT Amsterdam, I am interested to empower people with physical disabilities in Indonesia as human health resources, I want to contribute to creating affordable and effective health facilities, and innovate programs in health prevention and promotion. KIT Royal Tropical Institute Amsterdam has courses that provide basic and advanced knowledge about social determinants of health, basic research methods, health needs and responses, health systems.

In addition KIT as the SDGs house will provide me more information about the SDGs which I can implement as lecturer, government employee and health professional both in national and international perspectives in my country. KIT Scholarship Fund has supported me not only in finance, but it helps me also to broaden my international network and opportunities for the future. I look forward to put newly acquired skills to use in Indonesia in support of the people who need it.

Mochamad Nur Ramadhani from Indonesia has a background in dentistry. He studies the Master in International Health with a scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund. He works at the Faculty of Dentistry Universitas Padjadjaran, Bandung, Indonesia.

"The idea of pursuing studies at the Master level has been my long-term desire since 2007 when I joined MSF. Over the years I have worked in many different functions and countries (a.o. Malawi, Uganda, Kenya.) and was involved in several HIV/TB projects. I got involved with vulnerable and needy people in some of the most underprivileged communities. I have become aware of the need to understand in greater depth how to effectively implement and evaluate projects, appropriately guide staff with the best possible technical capability, and how to effectively work and collaborate with senior government officials, especially in the Ministry of Health and relevant NGOs.

I am confident that the knowledge and skills I gain during my studies at KIT will enable me to improve my current capabilities in managing health services and render better and more effective service to people in low income settings and in my home country of Malawi.”

CHARLIE MASIKU, BACKGROUND IN HEALTH SYSTEMS MANAGEMENT,
FROM MALAWI, STUDIED THE MASTER IN INTERNATIONAL HEALTH WITH
A PARTIAL SCHOLARSHIP FROM KIT SCHOLARSHIP FUND. HE WORKS AS
MEDICAL TEAM LEADER FOR MÉDECINS SANS FRONTIÈRES

“During my work in community health care programmes I realised that the health systems and policy management in
Myanmar needs to be strengthened if we want to achieve Universal Health Coverage. There is still so much poverty and suffering. Communicable diseases as well as non-communicable diseases are still a very big burden to the community.
Studying the Master of Public Health at KIT was my life dream and thanks to KIT Scholarship Fund and generous donors I am able to fulfill this dream. With the knowledge and skills I gain at KIT I am determined to contribute to improving the health situation of the people in Myanmar, to reduce the burden of communicable diseases and other health problems and strengthen the health systems in Myanmar, and give back to the communities in need from the experience I had!”

SANDI TUN, MEDICAL DOCTOR FROM MYANMAR, STUDIED THE MASTER OF PUBLIC HEALTH WITH A SCHOLARSHIP FROM KIT SCHOLARSHIP FUND. SHE WORKS AS PROGRAMME MANAGER FOR DIFFERENT COMMUNITY PROJECTS ON TUBERCULOSIS AND HIV IN HARD TO REACH RURAL AREAS IN MYANMAR.

“My name is Linda, I am from Burundi and have experience working in a district hospital in Rwanda. I find passion by providing health care. During my work in the hospital I realized that some realities are not thought in school. I can prescribe medication but  this would not help if someone cannot pay for it. The majority of the patients that came to the hospital had chronic diseases which were diagnosed very late because they only came to the hospital in times of crisis. This complicated the treatment and increased the costs. I could prescribe medication but this would not help if patients could not pay it.
Throughout my studies and clinical experience I my interest in preventive medicine grew. I could see how important it is for a community to be healthy. It is always better to prevent than cure. This helps the community but also the economy of a country.
The reason why  I wanted to study the Master in Public Health programme at KIT is to be better equipped to assess and address the health needs in my country and contribute to better health through policy making. KIT’s vision and programme offers a unique learning experience. I envision working in public health institutions in my country and to contribute to the global health system, expertise about the economy factor, policies and management for health systems.
Thanks to the support of KIT Scholarship Fund I will use the acquired knowledge and skills to develop public health in my country, Africa and all over the world. ”

Linda Manirambona from Burundi, background in Medicine, studied Master of Public Health at KIT with a scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund.

“I am Yemeni Female doctor and since my graduation I have been working in emergency relief programs in different areas in Yemen especially in Health and Nutrition. During this period I have worked with many Humanitarian international NGO’s working in life saving programs mainly focusing on the most vulnerable people (ACF International, Save the Children International, Medecins du Monde (MDM) France, and MSF Spain, Unicef). I feel however that I still need to increase my knowledge, build my capacity and learn new skills to contribute better to the improvement of health in my country.
Yemen is one of the developing countries in the middle east with low income where there is a lack of public health specialists and there are huge public health issues, e.g. high rate of acute malnutrition, food insecurity, a fragile health system. 
Thanks to KIT Scholarship Fund I am now able to study the Master in International health at KIT Royal Tropical Institute and this will enable me to support my country and help in saving lives of vulnerable people as well as improve the level of health system in Yemen. This year at KIT will provide me with the essential skills which in my path as a public health specialist. I look forward to working on public policies and strategies that can have a positive preventive impact. And as such will bring benefit to the most vulnerable populations, such as pregnant women and children under 5 years old.”

Amal Atef from Yemen, background in Medicine, studied Master in International Health at KIT with a partial scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund.

“Being the village health worker, my mother was responsible for managing minor ailments also overseeing local distribution of food handouts donated by charity organizations. As I grew up, I began to enjoy serving people and assisting my mother in her community duties. The realization that we were standing as a beacon of hope for the community brought about a tremendous feeling of joy and fulfilment in me. Through these experiences, an interminable passion for the health and welfare of the public was integrated into my genome. I was aided by several benefactors that contributed financially to enable me to study. 
After my graduation with Bachelor of medicine and Bachelor of surgery degrees I worked in a general hospital and later at a district hospital in a remote area of Matebeleland South province in Zimbabwe. During this period I realised the importance of public health as I was involved as a trainer of trainers in many public health implementation strategies in TB and HIV diseases. The pursuit of the Public Health discipline grants me the perfect platform to give back to my community which has always been my ambition. There is an immense sense of pride and fulfilment that comes with the knowledge that one is the pillar of the whole nation’s health domain and not just a clinician who can’t treat beyond their arm’s length.
I chose to do Masters in International health to be able to acquire knowledge and skills in developing strategies and policies to improve the health situation in my country and other low and middle-income countries through different platforms. It is my conviction that my Master in International Health qualification will go a long way in reviving the health delivery system of our economically hamstrung nation. I endeavour to spearhead the establishment of effective local research bodies so that we get a tailor made understanding of the epidemiology of diseases affecting our population.
I am grateful to study at KIT Royal Tropical Institute because I believe it presents me with an opportunity to broaden my knowledge in an academically stimulating environment. Mixing with international students of diverse cultures and backgrounds at KIT will surely empower me and broaden my understanding of public health.”

Marjorie Jaffet from Zimbabwe, background in Medicine, studied Master in International Health at KIT with a scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund.

“Despite the challenges of being a working mother with 2 daughters living modestly in Egypt, I have learnt how to build my capacity and assume multiple responsibilities both at family and career levels. My professional and voluntary activities have helped me realize the integration of health and human development, focus my ideas and thoughts and set my main goals of helping in the development process, particularly in developing countries. Having worked at the health minister’s technical office, I have been given a unique opportunity to actively participate, learn and widen my horizons about the complexity of health issues in Egypt given the strong exposure to various governmental bodies and international organizations. I am prepared and confident to evaluate situations and to contribute well processed opinions and offer solutions on the subject of health systems. I am motivated to continue my education on the topics related to Public Health. Both living in Egypt and volunteering abroad have allowed me the privilege of developing a unique perspective on international healthcare development. 
I am fully convinced that this prestigious master program in Public Health is essential for me to gain the practical tools and required knowledge to realize my dreams of improving healthcare in Egypt. I come from a modest hard working family who invested all their resources in our education as a way for a better future not only for us, but also for the whole community. I am fully convinced that this prestigious master program in Public Health is a stepping stone for a middle age female like me to gain the practical tools and required knowledge to realize my dreams of improving healthcare in Egypt and the whole world.”

Doaa Abdalla from Egypt, background in Medicine, studied the Master in Public Health with a partial scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund.

“I have a background in medicine. Currently I am working as project site manager (Occupational Medicine doctor) for healthcare facility in central of Sulawesi Indonesia in Donggi Senoro Liquefied natural gas (LNG). Previously, I worked for another healthcarepost in a coal mining region in Kalimantan on Borneo Indonesia. In both regions I have to work with a lot of people from other countries in South East Asia. I felt I wanted to develop myself to be able to work more efficient and on prevention of the health problems these regions are facing.
I really enjoy learning through problem solving, handling health event, and managing for win win solution, my application decisive was the fact that the course emphasises for those who aspired to develop orboost your career in international health, so i am sure that this course is designed for me.
I believe that studying at KIT under the guidance of experienced professionals I will gain the tools that are needed to contribute to improve the health situation on all levels in Indonesia.” 

Rully Christina from Indonesia, background in Medicine studies the Master in International Health with a partial scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund.

“Since I graduated from college was my dream to pursue a postgraduate study. Education has been a vital part of my career. I am a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) in a premier university. I am a registered nurse and midwife by profession. At present, I am working with the Episcopal Commission on Health Care of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP). I am the program officer of the entire TB program of the church, concerning 86 dioceses all over the Philippines. I am also the nurse of the HIV Center of the Camillian Fathers, a church-based initiative to help and support people living with HIV that also offers preventive services such as testing and health education.

I chose to study the Master of Public Health/International Course in Health Development (ICHD/MPH) because I want to help my country and my community to have an equal and unbiased access to health services. I believe that the skills I learn at KIT will help me in my advocacy towards access to sexual and reproductive health and rights including HIV-related services in my country. These are my driving forces and my motivations to pursue this master’s programme. Following the MPH/ICHD at KIT (Royal Tropical Institute) will advance my level of knowledge, and learning with people from all over the world will help me to learn new and better methods in addressing public health concerns.

I believe that pursuing this program will be a great help in empowering youth like me in addressing public health concerns and pushing limits to reach equality on rights and health care. I humbly take this opportunity to thank KIT Scholarship Fund and the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) for granting me this scholarship. I look forward to sharing what I learn in my community in my constant effort to help those in need. Changing someone’s life for the better is something to be proud of. 

Thank you.”

Daren Paul Katigbak from the Philippines, background in Nursing and Midwifery, studied MPH/ICHD at KIT with a scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund and co-funding NFP, Nuffic.

“Being from Afghanistan, I have studied Nursing in Pakistan while living as refugee. 

Since more than ten years I work with the international humanitarian organization Medicins Sans Frontieres. I worked over five years in Pakistan as national staff , supporting Afghanistan refugees and host population in remote parts of Pakistan. Since 2011I joined the international pool of humanitarian aid workers and since then I have worked in South Sudan, Uzbekistan, Papua New Guinea and Iraq.

My work ranges from nutrition, reproductive health, outbreak response, emergencies, mass vaccinations campaigns, MDR, and drugs sensitive TB program, sexual and reproductive health, communicable and non-communicable disease programs, across the nations, around the developing world, and in developed nations. 

My ultimate goal is to work in Aghanistan with the Ministry of Public health. Studying the Master in International health and Netherlands Course in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from KIT will equip me with both technical and soft skills that I can apply in my daily work as health professional and in any future work and projects. I look forward to apply these skills in the communities that need it.”

Abdul Wasay from Afghanistan, background in Nursing, studies the Master in International Health in 2016-2017 at KIT with support from KIT Scholarship Fund and Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF)

“I am a medical doctor who works with the the Hospitals’ Management Board of Ondo state government in southwest Nigeria. Since my graduation from medical school seventeen years ago I have worked in different clinical positions, as a health manager leading healthcare service delivery, as well as working on the implementation of health programs in rural and semi-urban settings.

In each of these working experiences I realised that in addition to my medical education, I needed to acquire skills in public health, particularly health system policy and management in order to approach my task of healthcare service delivery and program implementation from a broader perspective. 

I reached this conclusion because I observed on many occasions that our health system often leaves gaps that make health interventions difficult. I think this is partly due to improper engagement of stakeholders. Consequently efforts aimed at improving health are often met with disappointing outcomes.

Coming to KIT for this Master of Public Health and International Course in Health Development is one right decision I belief I made to launch myself into a realm of new knowledge discovery that will enhance my continuous and better participation in the process of contribution to health development in my home state in particular and Nigeria in general. The contribution of KIT Scholarship Fund to my co-finance scholarship will facilitate my acquisition of these new skills and knowledge. 

I look forward to apply these new skills and knowledge in influencing the government of my state and country to evolve health policies that favor universal health coverage and improve the health and well-being of our people.”

Ayodotun Aminuu from Nigeria, background in Medicine, studies MPH/ICHD at KIT with a scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund, co-funding NFP, Nuffic and self funding.

I come from Zambia and have studied nursing and midwifery. I have worked in hospitals as nurse in charge and also as Mother and Child health Coordinator with the District Health Management Office. Currently I work at a school of nursing and midwifery as a tutor.

I would like to study the Master in International Health at KIT to help me gain solid and vast knowledge in health issues both in the local and international set up. I hope to learn how health activities are done and how policies are formulated and utilized in various parts of the world.

With the knowledge learned at KIT I look forward to participate in policy formulation and conducting health services pertaining to mothers and children activities in improving the health of the mother and community at large. I have a passion for maternal health and with the challenges affecting the women in child birth and care of their babies and children. I wish to use my knowledge to take part in putting in place health activities that can improve maternal and child health in my country Zambia.

Chinyama Cheelo from Zambia, background in Nursing and Midwifery. She studied the core course of the Master in International Health in 2015-2016 with a scholarship from the KIT Scholarship Fund.

I have been working in the health sector since my graduation from the College of Dentistry. I have started my journey from the Tahrir Square. The place that has changed my life like many other Egyptians. Soon after finishing my internship in late 2010, the Egyptian Revolution broke out. During this I have worked in civil hospitals at Tahrir Square. Its members soon launched the Tahrir Doctor Society.

An NGO with the objective of providing emergency response at turbulent places and promoting public health. This experience made me realize the extent to which public health in Egypt required improvements.

So I started working for AHED, the leading association in health development in Egypt. This motivated me to seek advanced studies in Public Health at a reputable institution to perfect my knowledge in the expertise. So I applied for a master in public health at the distinguished Royal Tropical Institute.

This Masters programme will enhance my knowledge and skills in this field and allow me to play a more active role in promoting public health in Egypt.

Muhamad Al-Zawawy from Cairo, Egypt, background in Dentistry. He studied the Master in Public Health with a partial scholarship from KIT Scholarship Fund and a scholarship from the Lutfia Rabbani Foundation.

My name is Ruth Kanyiru and I come from Kenya. I have a background in Nursing.Having worked in hospitals as a nurse I felt a growing interest and desire for helping a large number of people with more emphasis for prevention and primary care rather than tertiary care.

I have worked as coordinator for counseling and testing services in Central province for a period of two years before joining the national level. Here I was tasked in coordinating post exposure prophylaxis in all the government hospitals in the country. In addition I have been working closely with the MARPs (most at risk population) program which deals with HIV control among MSM, community sex workers.

My first introduction to international public health arena came during my volunteer work for polio eradication initiative in (Ethiopia, Ghana and Cameroon) it fascinated me as I saw the range of problems that public health professionals were trying to solve in innovative ways. This one was an eye opener to the issues faced in health care today.

The area I plan to major in is nutrition. The burden of maternal mortality extends far beyond the physical and mental health implications. The prevalence of communicable disease in Kenya is a major factor in determining health outcomes. Maternal and child health are my passion. Hence capacity building of health workers in preventive medicine like nutrition, hand-washing and vaccination will be my main priority. Especially in the arid areas of my country like the rift valley, Nairobi and Eastern provinces where mothers and children are dying due to hunger like in Turkana and Marsabit, while others in the capital are over nourished too.

Ruth Kanyiru from Kenya, background in Nursing. She will start the Master in International Health in 2015-2016 with a scholarship from the KIT Scholarship Fund.