After my initial training as a nurse I became increasingly involved in providing services of refugees and other displaced populations. I worked in Kakuma in Kenya – mostly around HIV counselling – and later in South Sudan as a reproductive health adviser. I was in a responsible position, providing lots of training and supervision, and I felt I really needed to upgrade my skills.

Hometown: Kenya


About You


I began a course in health system management in Kenya, but I soon realised that my passion was for the reproductive health field. I searched on Google for courses and came across QMU. I was unsure about applying to a UK university after so many years away from studies, but I got a very positive response to my initial enquiry and decided to follow through with an application.

Encouraged by the award of a part-scholarship, I resolved that I had to take this chance.

"I no longer have a national or regional outlook but a global one."
Isabella Ochieng

When I arrived in Edinburgh I found the accommodation comfortable and welcoming. The classes were not overcrowded as I had heard had been the experience of many friends studying overseas – I was given space to learn. In that first few days I was struck by the range of people in my classes. I had expected a few other international students, but there were people from so many different countries and backgrounds. This really gave us the chance to share learning and benefit from a rich cultural experience. I also found the lecturers so approachable and encouraging.

I feel I am so much better equipped now for my work. I can draw on so many ideas and so many country experiences. I am keen to continue work in the field of reproductive health but now feel more generally confident about my contribution in the field of global health.


Story published 2016-2017

The Institute for Global Health and Development

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