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The Public Health Physician



Adidja Amani, MD, MPH, PGPN, MSc Vaccinology, PhDc., is a lecturer and researcher at the University of Yaoundé and the Deputy Director for Vaccination at the Ministry of Public Health in Cameroon.


What or who inspired your spark for science?

My mother and father. My mother was sick from the time I was a little girl. I was in emergency rooms, theaters, witnessed blood transfusions and throughout all this, I admired medical doctors as they came to announce the outcome of her surgeries. I knew then that I wanted to be a doctor, to heal my mother. My parents’ friends still talk today about how ‘Adidja said she wanted to be a doctor since she was little, and she did it.’ That always makes me smile. My dad had faith in me and always told me that he knew that one day I would be a great lady. Their belief in me kept me going.


For you, what’s most enjoyable about being a scientist?

A lot of things. It’s being able to make data speak and give an objective meaning to what is happening. I enjoy informing policy. I like the fact that curiosity, or a simple observation can lead to a discovery. I enjoy writing and publishing research articles which make your work known worldwide.


When you’re not running vaccination programmes, you…

… Run to boost my energy. I also mentor other women in health research to help them shine and run an empowerment programme for girls in rural areas where we award those who are excelling. Then there is politics…


Adidja holds a medical degree from the Faculty of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, Cameroon, a Master of Public Health from Georgia State University, Atlanta, USA, a Postgraduate qualification in Paediatric Nutrition from Boston University, Boston, USA, and a Certificate in Public Management from the Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, USA. She is a PhD candidate working on vaccine hesitancy.


She leads and is a member of several professional associations, including the Higher Institute for Growth in Health Research for Women, also known as the HIGHER Women Consortium, a network of senior women researchers in Cameroon. She is also a recipient of The Excellence Award, The Fulbright Award, The Mandela Washington Fellowship, The Weston Grant, The Excellence Prize for Young Doctor Leader, and the Immunization Champion Awards 2021.


For more on Adidja go to: Realizing a passion for public health in Cameroon (nature.com)


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