The Future Awards Africa Winners Spotlight: Fatima Zara Modibbo (Winner, Excellence in Public Service, 2010)

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Fatima Zara Modibbo won the prize for Excellence in Public Service at the 2010 edition of The Future Awards Africa. She is a medical doctor with special interest in public health issues and preventive medicine, with emphasis on women and children. She attended the University of Maiduguri, from where she graduated in 2007, after which she went on to volunteer at the surgical unit of a Military Hospital in Kaduna state for six months dealing mostly with trauma cases and performing minor surgical procedures.

She worked at the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria, an affiliate of the School Of Medicine, University of Maryland Baltimore, USA, dealing primarily with improvement of maternal and child health, before going on to start her residency in medical microbiology at the National Hospital Abuja, Nigeria. She is also involved in the coordination of a cervical cancer screening and prevention program amongst HIV positive women in Nigeria. She also completed a training workshop for PEPFAR service providers on modern cervical cancer screening methods that can be used in low resource settings.

She had previously been involved in co-ordinating the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS in 5 states of the North Central region, focusing mainly on the rural areas. Her role in this program essentially involved activation of specific sites and program implementation, organising of health worker training sessions, advocacy and outreach that would ultimately improve community awareness on knowledge of the disease and the importance of seeking for health care. She also provides mentoring and support to health workers. During this time she has gained a good insight on the plight of HIV/AIDS and how it affects rural Nigeria.

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