Interview with Dr Zabron Masatu, Irish Aid Fellow and District Medical Officer for Misungwi District
Dr. Zabron Masatu was awarded a scholarship for study in Ireland under the Irish Aid Fellowship Training Programme in 2015. He studied Immunology and Global Health from 2015 to 2016 at the National University of Ireland in Maynooth and was awarded a Master of Science (Msc). Since returned to Tanzania he has worked as the District Medical Officer (DMO) in Misungwi District in Mwanza. We caught up with Dr Masatu and asked him about his experience of studying in Ireland and how it has equipped him for his work in Tanzania.
What is your current role?
I’m the District Medical Officer (DMO) of Misungwi district in Mwanza region. A vital part of my role is to oversee and support the running of district to health facilities to help ensure that the district is providing Tanzanian citizens with quality health services in accordance to the guidelines and health policy of Tanzania. This includes planning district health activities, managing financial and human resources for district and community health care, and tracking the management of diseases.
What motivated you to apply to study in Ireland?
The quality of education offered in Ireland motivated me to apply. I knew I would get hands on experience and expertise on the management of health related issues. To add to that, the opportunity of getting a full scholarship through Irish Aid which enabled poor but competent students to get training was another significant motivation.
What was your experience of studying and living in Ireland?
Studying and living in Ireland gave me great memories. I appreciated the learning environment because the trainers were very competent in their disciplines, the learning were all available and easily accessible. Ireland is a very peaceful country so living and interacting with local people was a great experience. I found the Irish people very welcoming and always ready to help. All these factors made my stay in Ireland easier than I had expected. Coping with the Irish weather and homesickness were the main challenges I faced especially on the first few months of my arrival in Ireland.
How have your studies in Ireland equipped you better for your current role?
I have got better knowledge and understanding on disease management, particularly on emerging and re-emerging diseases. The training has broadened my understanding on setting up and managing health projects, including research projects, and financial and human resource management. The training has also helped me develop critical thinking on disease management.
More information on Irish Aid’s Fellowship Training Programme