About the Interns

As part of our mission to advance the next generation of physicians, KEDU interns are trainees that will contribute to KEDU’s efforts while being directly mentored by the leadership team. These are highly motivated, high-achieving individuals who have demonstrated passion around efforts that align with KEDU’s mission.

Barbara Odac, MD

Graduate of Kenyatta University School of Medicine, Nairobi, Kenya

Barbara Odac, MD, a graduate of Kenyatta University School of Medicine, Nairobi, Kenya and current KEDU Intern. She has a great passion for global health as well as clinical research and this has seen her participate in studies ranging from reproductive health, gastroenterology, as well as rapid oral HIV testing in Africa.

Dr. Christine Ngaruiya, MD, MSc, DTM&H

Creator and Founder

is Assistant Professor in the Section of Global Health and International Emergency Medicine in the Department of Emergency Medicine (DEM) at Yale University. She completed her undergraduate and medical degrees at the University of Nebraska, and residency in Emergency Medicine at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. She completed a fellowship in Global Health in the DEM at Yale in 2015, at the same time matriculating with a Master of Science in Tropical Medicine and International Health, and Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Her research interests center on: Non- communicable Diseases (NCDs), barriers to care, community-based interventions and ethics in clinical practice with a particular focus on Africa.

She has worked on several collaborative projects with organizations in East Africa including Kenya, Uganda, and Somalia, having worked with KEMRI-Wellcome Trust, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC), Africa Mental Health Foundation (Nairobi), and is currently funded by a USAID grant doing work on food security in East Africa.Her current work includes partnership with Ministry of Health collaborators in Kenya targeting NCDs. Her past professional work has focused on health disparities amongst minority populations in the U.S. (including refugees) and Community-Based Participatory Research (CBPR) including founding the service learning program “Bridge to Care” in Nebraska, one of the largest refugee resettlement states in the U.S., that has reached over 5,000 refugees and won multiple accolades since its inception in 2010.

Some past honors include: the Emergency Medicine Resident’s Association (EMRA) Augustine D’Orta Award, Harambe Entrepreneur Alliance Associate and Harambe Pfizer Fellow Award, in addition to being selected the 2016 Outstanding International Alumnus by the Nebraska Alumni Association. Amongst former positions, she also served as a career services intern, mentoring trainees across the spectrum on the job search, and continues to do so in her role as faculty at Yale.

She has held several national leadership positions including with: the American Medical Students’ Association (AMSA), the Emergency Medicine Residents’ Association (EMRA), the Society of Academic Emergency Medicine’s (SAEM) Global Emergency Medicine Academy and the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH)-Global Health Education Consortium (GHEC)-Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) Trainee Conference and Advisory Committee, and has lectured both nationally and internationally on topics related to NCDs. She is a member and regular contributor to the Young People’s Chronic Disease Network (YP-CDN) and the U.S. Investigators’ Global NCD Research Network Steering Committee. Additionally, she served on the Research Symposium Committee for the African Congress on Emergency Medicine in 2014, and is on the Scientific Research Committee for 2016.

For more information about Dr. Ngaruiya, you can find her Linkedin profile here.
In addition to joining faculty in the DEM in 2015, she was also selected as one of twenty Yale Public Voice Fellows for 2015-2016 from across campus with publications in a variety of outlets such as Time, Huffington Post, The Hill, among others.

Martha Gakunju

Senior at the University of Pennsylvania

Martha is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania originally from Kiambu, Kenya but currently residing in Cincinnati, Ohio. She is pursuing a major in Health and Societies with a concentration in Global Health, along with a minor in International Development. She is on a pre-med track and is hoping to work in Kenya addressing the health inequalities that socioeconomically disadvantaged people face. Martha is involved in a number of on-campus organizations focusing on preprofessional development and service. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and solving NYT Crossword puzzles.

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