Hana Passen, 2012, Classics

My summer internship working for the Liberian National Malaria Control Program (NMCP) was focused on efforts to cut the transmission of malaria within Liberia in half, with ­special focus on at-risk populations such as pregnant women and children under 5 years of age. While at the NMCP, I helped write a funding proposal to UNICEF to support ­projects on child survival and its associated budget, and a centralized report on community case management of malaria, detailing the procedures and lessons learned. I produced three newsletters on different aspects of malaria and the NMCP’s role in combatting ­malaria, and worked with a team developing a monitoring and evaluation ­strategy for the use of insecticide treated nets. Finally, I was privileged to sit in on meetings ­discussing the private sector’s purchase of subsidized malaria treatment drugs for low cost sales, and meetings on the two-year operational plan for the NMCP and other curative ­medicine programs in Liberia’s Ministry of Health, both at the national and county level. I learned a great deal about malaria prevention activities, and even more about the ­tensions and ­complexities within a public healthcare system functioning at different ­levels of ­governance. It was particularly interesting to observe the interaction of policy and ­implementation. This internship has solidified my interest in public health as a discipline, and I am considering pursuing a career in the field.