QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 82 - Page 20

Influencing the next generation of social scientists in Africa Interview with Sarah Ssali, International Health graduate Sarah Ssali, Senior Lecturer in Makerere University, Uganda, graduated with a PhD International Health Studies from QMU’s Institute for International Health and Development (now Institute for Global Health and Development), 1999 – 2003 What does your lecturing position at Makerere University involve? As part of the School of Gender Studies I focus on gender analysis. I teach students about gender and its relation with the state and public policy, institutions and social transformation, research methods and feminist theory. My work within the Clinical Epidemiology Unit includes looking at government policies and the health system from a social (including gender) perspective. This involves examining the impact of social policy on communities affected by poverty and war. Why did you come to Scotland in 1999? QMU offered me the opportunity to develop my current knowledge in international health and to learn to study and teach. Having previously visited Scotland, my husband said that it was the best country in the world! You must be able to empathise with people if you are going to carry out research work in some of the poorest communities. My research has involved hundreds of people in Uganda and you can only be successful if you try to see the world through their eyes. Hopefully the results of my research for the ReBUILD project will help transform health systems in Uganda and improve the lives of the poor. Most significant achievement whilst working in Uganda? Being able to join the administration of the Academic Staff Union which allows me to advocate for the improvement of staff welfare. I really improved my English while studying at QMU and, as a result, I am often asked to contribute to University reports for government policy makers. What were your achievements while studying at QMU? What are you most proud off? Completing my PhD in three years whilst raising a young child and also having a baby! I was seven months pregnant when I arrived in Scotland and my husband was studying abroad. As a single parent, juggling a young family and my education was very challenging. Being able to identify and teach Africa’s next generation of social scientists. I am delighted to be a lead facilitator on the Social Sciences Research Council on the programme ‘Next Generation of African Social Scientists’ which means I am helping to nurture and develop some of the leaders of the future in Africa. It is one of the most inspiring programmes I have been involved with, and one which will have real impact on the future of Africa. What were the most important lessons you learned from the international health staff at QMU? That good teaching is about humility and information sharing. In Uganda, being a professor is a really big thing – it brings status and clout. But QMU has a different value system. A lecturer must have high levels of integrity and to teach well you must be able to empathise with students and communities. You must see things from all angles and be able to relate to people. It’s about how you positively impact people and share knowledge for the betterment of society. It’s not about being better or more knowledgeable than your Ց̸)$ͼɹѡ́ѕȵɽͥʹ܁հ)Ё́ѼٔѡȁɽɕЁ͵́ɥѥՔ)ݽɬ5䁙ɕ́ݕɔ݅́Սѕȁ$ݕѡ̰)ɽɕЁɽչ̰Ѽɥѥ䁕مՅєݽɬ)ȁѥЁE5TՕȁѕ)QՕE5Tх́ͥЁ䁱ɥ)$չѽɅݡЁE5T$ѡ)չѼѕݡЁՑ她ȁA$ͼɹ)Ѽɕ͕ɍ́ݕ́ѡхɥѥ̸ͥ ɥѥ)ͥ́́хЁЁݡЁ́х՝ЁЁE5TQ́屔)݅́ЁЁѕU9ɵUѕ)ɽ٥ѡɵѥͅ䰁ѡՑ́ɸЁ)ɕɝхєЁɕѱ䰁́ѡᅴ ɥѥͥ́)ɽٔݡЁ́ѡЁͼ)ͥѥٔ)$ٔE5Wéمɥ́ѕ展́Ѽ䁱ɥЁѡ)Uٕͥ䁽5ɕɔ$ٔɽѕ͕ٕɅѥ̸$)܁ͥЁѡUٕͥ չٕ͕ɅՅєɽɅ̸)$ѼՕѕ展́ɽ́ѡ)Uٕͥ䁅͍()!܁́ȁɕ͕ɍ屔ѕչѥ́U)E5e=T!ѠIхѥ)]ӊéѡЁЁЁMѱ)QչѼѼɝѼхЁѡ)I U%1ɽЁ́хѥѕȁ٥ͥЁѼMѱ$ɕɸ)%ӊéѼ5)!܁ٔԁх啐ѕݥѠE5T)E5TٔɔͼӊéхЁѼѡЁ$Ѽ)ٔͽѡ)$չхЁɕ͕ɍɽ́ѡI U%1 ͽѥմ)$ЁE5TՑ́ݡݥ͠Ѽ䁽Ёɕ͕ɍU)]ӊéѡЁхЁéͽԁɹɽ)ȁѥЁE5T)9Ёٕѡ́Ѽхɥ͕A͡ձeЁЁ)ѡ́ѡ䁅ɔE5T́ɕ䁥ٕѕѡ)ѥɝ䁅ݱѼQЁݕЁȁ役)ɵ̸)$ٔɥѼ͔E5WéمՕ́Ѽͥѥٕ䁥Օѕ)ɕ͕ɍU%Ёٕ́ͅѥ͙她Ѽ͕܁Ց)ɔ܁ͥѡȁͭ́ݱѼɕє)չѥ̸E5Wéݽɬɕ䁑́ٔѕɹѥɕ$)ݡЁ$ѽ䁉͔E5T)]ЁɔȁЁɥ́E5T)MхՑ́ɽ%%!她ѡѥհɑ́Ёѡ) ѽ́ѡ͕͔Ʌɥݥѡѡ) ɔɽ́ѡUٕͥ七vH