New Year equals new pressures but old resolutions


Dear Reader,

I’d be remiss if I do not start by wishing you a Happy New Year. And to fellow students, may you find the time to study and to complete your assessments on time, anResolutionsd, more importantly, may you pass your assessed assignments and final exams!

As I take one last look at something I vow to give up in 2018, I can’t help but also look around the corner at what’s ahead. For a lot of people, including me, January 1 2018 meant an opportunity to make New Year’s resolutions. But for me, and fellow students, it is really new pressures with old resolutions that were made in October, back when we registered for our course. 2018 means the time to crank up our studies to receive passing grades. So, it is only fitting to think of a New Year’s resolution in terms of passing the final exams! Continue reading

Reflections on 2017 based on my demography and health coursework


2017 has been what could be considered a memorable year in the AfricaPolitical map of African continent. For example, Robert Mugabe was ousted from power in Zimbabwe, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, first elected female head of state in Africa, led her country to a peaceful presidential election. While these are some considerable political events, and they are more noteworthy ones too that happened in the public health arena. The resurgence of cholera and measles, and high incidence of malaria that continue to kill countless numbers of children on a daily basis in many countries are all awful reminders of the impacts of diseases on human health in the African continent. Continue reading

A humanitarian worker’s practical reflections on the coursework


In my last blog entitled “A Busy Professional’s Guide to Learning” I ended it with a quote by Alfred Mercier, who said that “What we learn with pleasure, we never forget.” After using this quote, I thought that it could be a cliché. After all, learning is hard work and how can it be pleasurable too? Isn’t this an oxymoron? Perhaps, Mr. Mercier was speaking of some other forms of learning, one which does not involve my Demography and Health coursework, with its formulas and a lengthy glossary of terms, and so on. For a first-year MSc student, this coursework has been everything but a pleasure. Continue reading

A busy professional’s guide to learning


In my last blog “It is a long road ahead but it is worth it” I talked about what motiLearning is not attained by chancevated me to return to study and my struggle in finding the course that I am passionate about. Having passed that stage, “the motivational stage” as I call it, it is now time to get into “the reality stage” because, as Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not attained by chance; it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.” This, one might say, is where the rubber meets the road. Continue reading

It is a long road ahead but it is worth it


Issa - student bloggerThe wise Lao Tzu said that “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That step for me was to decide three years ago that I wanted to go back to school. Why? I asked myself one evening as I sat in a hotel room in Guinea capital city of Conakry, in the middle of the worst Ebola Virus Disease. Unlike many, my desire to go back to school was not motivated by the need to boost my career or to earn another degree. I have a good job and Master Degrees from two world-renowned institutions of higher learning. Why did I decide on that full moon night in December 2014 to return to study after a long time off?

Continue reading