How to get a career started in global health

By Sophie Edwards 14 October 2016

A nurse in a hospital in Madagascar. Photo by: Maggie Hallahan / President's Malaria Initiative

Global health is a key development issue and one which has seen an explosion in funding and interest over the last two decades. It can also be a diverse and rewarding career offering practitioners the chance to improve the lives of billions of people.  

So what does it take to break in and make it in the burgeoning realm of global health? Devex spoke to three seasoned professionals to get their insights and tips. Here is what they said.

Get on the front lines

Whether you want to work in a laboratory, advise a minister of health, or administer vaccines in the field, a first hand understanding of the challenges involved in delivering health services in developing countries is crucial to becoming an effective global health worker. Gina Lagomarsino, CEO at the Results for Development Institute, which founded the Center for Health Market Innovations, said:

“Typically, health work done by global development agencies is very project-based and narrow in focus. That's why it's so important to have some formative experience working on the front line in a health care setting so that you understand the challenges involved in delivering services.”

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About the author

Edwards sopie
Sophie Edwards

Sophie Edwards is a reporter for Devex based out of Washington D.C. and London where she covers global development news, careers and lifestyle issues. She has previously worked for NGOs, the World Bank and spent a number of years as a journalist for a regional newspaper in the U.K. She has an MA from the Institute of Development Studies and a BA from Cambridge University.


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