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How does a mentor make a long-term impact? Just ask Dr. Nellie Wadonda-Kabondo, Chief of Epidemiology, Surveillance and Strategic Information Branch for CDC Malawi and current Mentor for the PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship Program. Growing up in rural Malawi, Dr. Nellie Wadonda-Kabondo couldn’t have imagined how much her life would change as a university student. Dr. Wadonda-Kabondo attended a rural primary and secondary school and excelled as a student. This commitment to her education paid off, and she was selected to attend the University of Malawi in Zomba, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Demography and Computer Sciences. Eager to explore job opportunities, Dr. Wadonda- Kabondo held a 3 month internship during the summer break of the 3rd year of her program, working in Community Health Sciences Unit of the Ministry of Health for a family planning program. This initial work in public health generated a palpable excitement to learn the causes and study the distribution of diseases. Conducting epidemiological investigations felt like “being a disease detective”.

Read more about Dr. Wadonda-Kabondo’s subsequent education in the United Kingdom, her path to CDC Malawi, and her role as a mentor for the PHI/CDC Global Health Fellowship program below: