The youngest in a family of eight children raised in one of Ghana’s most impoverished rural communities, Banda Abdallah Abubakar Khalifa managed to overcome multiple obstacles to becoming a physician. During his clinical rotations, he quickly realized that seeing patients individually wasn’t the most efficient way to improve the health of communities like his.
“Most of the cases I was seeing were preventable conditions,” he remembers. “It became clear that reaching out to people in communities and letting them know how to prevent conditions could impact their health better than just sitting in the consulting room and prescribing medications one at a time.”
Khalifa used this strategy after enlisting in the Ghana Armed Forces in 2015. As the leader of a Ghanaian medical team on a United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Ivory Coast, he implemented preventive measures such as hand-washing and limiting contact, which prevented any cases of communicable disease in his unit.
After establishing a preventive health program on another peacekeeping mission in Mali and returning home to lead an infantry medical center in Ghana, Khalifa says he knew that he wanted to pursue formal training to make health care more efficient and effective.
“A dual degree of MPH/MBA,” he says, “will equip me with essential leadership skills, sharpen my critical thinking ability and provide me with the health economics [education] needed to handle today’s byzantine global health challenges.”