Berkeley Public Health Student Profile: Innocent Menyo

Winner of the Dean’s Scholarship for Health Equity and Leadership 2023

Menyo innocent

Innocent Menyo, 29 years old
Online MPH, Epidemiology and Biostatistics

• Expected graduation: 2025• Hometown: Kampala, Uganda• Preferred pronouns: he/him/her

Berkeley Public Health: Why did you choose to go to public health and why did you choose Berkeley Public Health for your degree?

Innocent Menyo: For the past six years, I have worked closely with low-resource communities through M-SCAN Uganda. Through this program, we have developed portable, affordable and energy-efficient ultrasound devices that work on laptops, tablets and cell phones and can detect complications early in pregnancy.

In the communities I have worked with, including refugee camps, I have seen the social determinants of health come into full play. Many pregnant women lack basic care, such as simple diagnostic tools, clean birthing spaces, and more.

My interest in public health is sparked by my desire to improve the health of these communities through a better understanding of the major determinants of health, the challenges of providing key diagnostic tools like ultrasound machines, and through to the use of human-centered design that integrates research findings from the communities themselves into the workflows that guide the best delivery and execution of public health innovations.

Since UC Berkeley is a top institute in public health, it has been my dream university for years. To see this dream come true is amazing. UC Berkeley’s particular emphasis on public health practice will provide me with the skill set I need to positively impact the communities I serve.

The UC Berkeley Innovator Network is an amazing space and opportunity for me to expand my ideas and scale the innovations I’ve already worked on. While at UC Berkeley, I plan to research portable ultrasound devices and ultrasound patches and hope to contribute to better diagnostics, especially in low-resource settings.

BPH: Why did you choose your concentration and what interests you?

Menyo: So far, the M-SCAN Uganda program has performed at least 4,000 scans with more monthly data from more than 25 health centers. The program needs someone with a special skill set to analyze this data. This sparked my particular interest in epidemiology and biostatistics. With tools like regression models, we can make a lot of sense out of the data.

BPH: You received the Dean’s Fellowship for Health Equity and Leadership. What does this mean to you? Can you tell us more about your thoughts on health equity?

Menyo: My excitement was at its height when I learned that I was the recipient of this prestigious and highly competitive award from the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.

This is validation for the work I do at M-SCAN serving pregnant mothers across Uganda. I believe that everyone, regardless of social, economic, geographic or political class, deserves quality health care and as such, we all have a role to play in achieving health equity. Having seen the many health disparities that exist in low-resource settings, I believe it is essential to pay attention to health equity at all levels, starting with the most remote and rural, to eliminate these disparities through a 360 degree approach to the existing challenges in these communities.

BPH: What part of public health would you most like to change?

Menyo: Last Mile Health provides affordable diagnostic equipment, especially more portable, affordable, and energy-efficient ultrasound devices with clear mapping of training, deployment, risk detection, response, and treatment. orientation if necessary.

BPH: What would you like to do with your degree after graduation?

Menyo: I look forward to advancing research and innovation in the context of low-resource diagnostics, with a focus on ultrasound delivery in low-resource settings.

Through Berkeley Innovators, I plan to innovate more and bring more impactful products to patients, partner with more innovators, and create a consortium that supports local researchers doing research in low-resource settings. in Africa.

BPH: How do you think Berkeley Public Health will set you up for success in your future career?

Menyo: Berkeley Public Health’s vast resources will provide space for me to become a successful public health specialist and even a better epidemiologist/biostatistician with cutting-edge research and informative data analytical skills.

This Q&A interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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