12 October 2015
Young female researcher on a mission to provide evidence based research to better address PNG’s health issues
Rebecca is from Milne Bay province but moved to Goroka when she joined the Institute of Medical Research (IMR) as a Senior Scientific Officer almost eight years ago.
Rebecca explains that she loves her job at IMR. Although she’s far away from home, Rebecca is passionate about providing research based evidence, especially when the findings of her research will be contributing to better addressing PNG’s health issues.
In one of Rebecca’s research studies; she was required to travel across PNG to understand why particular areas had a higher prevalence of TB patients as opposed to other areas at lower risk. This was both an exciting and challenging study for Rebecca because it meant she also had to interview highly infectious TB patients.
Despite the high risk to her personal health, Rebecca successfully conducted her interviews. Through her research Rebecca provided valuable information which IMR used to prepare a report for the Department of Health identifying the areas that had the highest TB statistics and the possible reasons for the high statistics.
Through the report, the Department of Health would be better informed in terms of how to develop effective TB awareness campaigns for targeted provinces and key messages.
“I know that I am making a direct contribution to PNG’s health issues, by providing evidence based research to the PNG National Department of Health and other stakeholders who have a concern for PNG’s health standards”.
Rebecca is committed to increasing the global knowledge of health issues affecting PNG through her research publications.
Rebecca was awarded the prestigious Australia Awards Scholarships to undertake a Masters of Qualitative Health Research at the University of Sydney which she completed in 2013. In recognition of her leadership and contributions to the field of health research, she did her internship with the Burnet Institute for 3 months while on study.
“Receiving an Australia Awards was one of the most proud moments of my life. It’s a great honour to be able to live and study in Australia and work as an intern at Burnet Institute for 3 months. Thanks to Australia Awards, I was able to further develop my leadership and communication skills and experiences.”