Student Highlight – Zoumana Isaac Traore
Hometown: Bamako, Mali
Degree program/concentration– Master of Science in Emergency Preparedness
What brought you to the field of public health? I experienced a lot of health concerns (Malaria, intestinal worm, varicella, etc.) during my childhood, which seriously impacted me. In my country, I have witnessed many avoidable deaths, including family members and friends due to people’s behaviors and attitudes toward vaccination. Disasters such as drought, flooding, and tornadoes frequently strike my country. I have also witnessed the contamination of laboratory workers during manipulation of biological agents in the laboratory, who then become potential vectors for infectious disease transmission in their families and communities. These experiences led me to further my career in public health, first as research assistant at the Malaria Research and Training Center, and subsequently as the laboratory director with Doctors Without Borders in Niger, and as a Biosafety/Biosecurity trainer with the Malian Association for Biosafety and Biosecurity (MABB).
What do you like most about the COPH? The accessibility of the faculty and nice environment for the students. What are your career goals after graduation? I plan to pursue a PhD in International Health Security and Biodefense or Emergency Preparedness and Biosecurity after which time I plan to join the United Nations system or other international NGOs such as the Red Cross.
A few things people may not know about me:
- I suffered from malaria with complications and an associated coma during my childhood.
- I have 22 siblings