Doctorate of Medicine (MD), Université nationale du Zaïre, Kisangani


English, French, Spanish, Swahili, Lingala, Kikongo, Creole, Mashi

My career began as a general practitioner in a remote Congolese province called Bandundu some 450 kilometres from Kinshasa, where there was a medical compound which included a sanatorium, leprosy facility, and four standard sections for medicine, surgery, paediatrics and obstetrics, but little if any resources.

Working in multiple HIV/AIDS related roles from Belgium to Guinea and Indonesia enabled me to hone my skills as a problem-solver when working with local authorities and populations to find solutions to apply in their daily lives, both from the strategic perspective and also through local interventions. I have always had an interest in different areas of life which included an affinity for international development, particularly humanitarian and social affairs, which is a field I love to work in as I know I can make a positive contribution to help people live better lives.

Currently I am the Chief of the HIV/AIDS Unit in the United Nations Operation in Cote d’Ivoire, which can bring additional challenges as the mission moves towards the downsizing phase. My team’s mandate has two core elements: in addition to supporting the mission itself, our external focus is linked to United Nations Country Team and National Stockholders. At the heart of our responsibilities is the requirement to develop and implement a comprehensive HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programme for mission personnel. Another key area of focus is the acquisition of funds for HIV/AIDS programmes which are implemented by the mission, and coordinated with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations in cooperation with United Nations Theme Group Members and the Joint United Nations Team on AIDS. For example, we run an annual programme for Quick Impact Projects. These are small projects that can be implemented in the field, and will have a ‘quick impact’ locally, such as the rehabilitation of health centres and the provision of equipment for youth centres. We have already implemented seven projects, which are making a tremendous difference to the local population.

One of my proudest achievements was the implementation of an HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programme during my service with the United Nations Mission in the Central African Republic and Chad (MINURCAT). We planned a diverse range of activities so that we could reach as many people as possible. These included offering Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing services, which was provided by a mobile team of United Nations clinics for MINURCAT personnel, internally displaced persons, and the wider local population.

Another highlight of my career came during my assignment in the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti. I was responsible for monitoring our programme of Quick Impact Projects, which had an emphasis on capacity building initiatives for local women. As a direct result of a project we implemented, women were able to acquire skills that empowered them to generate incomes. This in turn meant that women were more empowered in their households and communities, as they became more economically productive. Another critical programme I participated in was a pilot project to conduct peer educators’ training for the Haitian National Police and community leaders in five regions, which was an important outreach programme throughout the country.

My priority is to provide leadership to ensure the team members are empowered in a practical way so they can achieve their goals. We contribute to the Organization’s overarching goals on the HIV/AIDS work plan, supporting the national authorities’ achievement of their objectives and also to contribute to the reconciliation process. 

My work requires initiative, especially when working in the field, where resources are often stretched and demand is high. This frequently requires you to adapt to different situations and challenges, and prepares you to take on responsibility, when needed. Being eager to share your skills and to learn from others, too, is a really useful attribute!

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