When people asked my mum what I was doing for a living, she had serious problems answering. It has been always a bit like this; it is nothing new. The title Communication Specialist is so broad and, at the same time, so vague, that for someone flirting with her 70's, it requires a massive effort to understand its meaning.
'Are you willing to travel to Africa as part of your job?', asked Prof Lavy during my interview. Before he had the chance to finish his question, I had already said 'Yes'.
Growing up in Morocco, I knew I was African, but I didn’t feel this part of my identity for a long time. It wasn’t until I entered the Global Surgery field and started having a Global vision of the world that I realized how much I had in common with people from other African countries.
One can easily lose track of Prof Ruairi Brugha’s academic titles (MB, BCh, BAO, MD, FFPHMI, MSc, DCH, Dip Obs, Dip Humanities) when reading his bio. They are the result of more than 40 years dedicated to investigate and to improve public health.
Next month, Prof Brugha, current Head of Department of Public Health and Epidemiology at RCSI, will be saying good-bye to his department colleagues and will depart to start a new adventure somewhere else. Before that happens, we have interviewed him and asked a few questions about his career.
I imagine most people not familiar with Africa would be hesitant about taking a bus across borders. When calling the number I pulled of a website that seem developed in the 90’s and bought a ticket for a 6 hour drive from Nairobi (Kenya) to Arusha (Tanzania), that hesitation was not exactly quelled.