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December 10, 2010

Motivators: Sierra Leone's Amara Koroma and Dr. Samuel A.S. Kargbo

John Donnelly

This is the sixth in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. This came from a conversation with two senior leaders at the Sierra Leone Ministry of Health and Sanitation: Amara Koroma, 49, director of financial services, and Dr. Samuel A.S. Kargbo, 48, director of reproductive health.

Q: What motivates you to do this work?

Amara Koroma: I will simply give you my story. I came from a very humble background. Things were very difficult, very, very difficult, especially because I had lost my mother early in life. I saw poverty all around me. I have always looked at my background and always hoped to God one day if I make it, I should be in position to help others. That has influenced me greatly. In my environment, secondly, living very close to the ghetto, and I said to myself, I need to break the cycle of poverty in my family. If I can break it, I believe others can.

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December 09, 2010

Motivators: Ethiopia's Roman Tesfaye

John Donnelly

This is the fifth in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. Roman Tesfaye is the director general of the Policy, Plan & Finance General Directorate in the Ministry of Health in Ethiopia.  

Q: What motivates you?

A: When I did my Master’s degree, I had one lecturer from Ghana named Willy Addai. He was the most inspiring lecturer that I have ever experienced, honestly. He motivated people to live up to their own potential. He didn’t tell you what to do. He just showed us that you can use your potential to the fullest. He always said, `We were not created to eat, or play, or whatever. We were created to give service.’ You have to always think, even at home, even at the office, even every place, that if you are creative, you can do whatever you want to do. You have to discipline yourself, you have to see your purpose. If you apply this principle to all of your journeys, you will always be successful, and you will be the happiest one in the world.

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December 08, 2010

Motivators: Mali's Dr. Issa Berthe

John Donnelly

This is the fourth in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. Dr. Issa Bara Berthe, 36, is the chief of statistics and information division at the Ministry of Health in Mali.

Q: What motivates you?

A: When I was at university, doing my thesis and looking at the data from Mali, I realized the data was all very old. It was mainly statistics from WHO or UNICEF from 1987, and this was data nearly 10 years old at the time. There wasn’t any fresh data. All the old data showed Mali as so far behind. I believed it wasn’t reflecting some of the advances we were making.

Pour lire la version française, voir ci-dessous

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December 03, 2010

Motivators: Senegal's Dr. Bocar Mamadou Daff

John Donnelly

This is the second in a series of interviews with participants at the Ministerial Leadership Initiative for Global Health’s Learning Collaborative Forum in Addis Ababa on motivation – what motivates them and how do they motivate others. Bocar Mamadou Daff, 51, is the director of reproductive health in Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Prevention:

 Q: What motivates you?

A: That starts with my background. I come from a rural area and there were many health problems there. So people in my community where I grew up weren’t even aware of modern medicine. They were using all traditional medicine they could find and when it wouldn’t work, they would go very far in search of modern medicine. 

I had a sister who was very, very sick for 15 days and she was yellow in color. People were saying this was caused by the devil. I asked my teacher what was wrong, and he said, `You need to take her to a health post.’ (He paused, and his eyes began to well with tears.) I didn’t know what to do.

Pour lire la version française, voir ci-dessous

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December 02, 2010

Motivators: Nepal's Khadka Bahadur Basyal Sarki

John Donnelly

From MLI's Learning Collaborative Forum in Ethiopia, this is the first in a series of interviews with leaders in the MLI countries about what has motivated them in their work. Khadka Bahadur Basyal Sarki is Nepal’s State Minister in the Ministry of Health and Population.

 Q: What is your background?

 A: I am a member of the Dalit community in Nepal, who are members of the lowest caste, making up about one fourth of the population in the country. When I was younger, I served on the staff in a health facility, and what I found in the hospital was that the Dalits did not use the services much. They would go to traditional healers who have no scientific background, and so many people were dying unnecessarily from treatable diseases.

 My community is not only poor, but they have no land, they have no education at all, and no one was caring for them. They were very much backward, you cannot imagine how backward they were.

 Q: So what did you do?

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