LMG Mentoring Network: September Mentee of the Month

Sarah McKee

Project Associate

Full Interview and text from photo: 

Why did you want to be a mentee?
"I wanted to be a mentee because I want to learn more about FP/ RH. I work in the research unit at FHI360, Zambia. The research I do is cross cutting i.e. it includes HIV, PMTCT, FP, and Lab. I have a strong passion for family planning so I do a bit of family planning as well. I thought being a mentee for a year would give me more exposure to more issues related to FP/ RH and help me to keep abreast of current trends in FP/ RH. I was right because I have learned a lot from my mentor and because of her I have started a course in RH with Geneva foundation for medical education research which has been a great resource in terms of providing information on current literature on RH."

What are your career goals? 
"I would like to get more involved in FP/ RH programmatic work. In the near future, I would like to open an organization which will look at providing/ ensuring that people with disabilities have access to FP/ RH services. I have been seeing blind women in the streets begging for money and they are always surrounded by so many children which shows that there is an unmet need for FP among this group of people. I worked in the FP clinic at a rural health center for a year and I never saw a disabled person or blind person coming to access FP services and that has left me wondering if there is anyone out there who looks out for the FP/RH needs of the disabled women who are poor."

How do you want to improve FP/RH in your community? 
"For now, I would like to advocate for a special program that will look into the FP/ RH needs of the women with disabilities."
 
"Currently I and a few other colleagues have been advocating for a policy change to allow Community Based Distributors to provide injectable depo- provera. Currently, CBDs are only allowed to provide pills and condoms. This will allow the women in the community to have a wider choice of FP methods. They will not have to travel long hours to the facility to get an injectable contraceptive because it will be provided right within the community."

What is your advice to fellow young women entering the workforce in Africa? 
"Find what it is that you have the passion for and pursue it."