Jessica Mandizha RN, MSc, Dip T
By the time Jess completed her nurse training at King’s College, London, in 2000, she already knew that her future lay overseas. Eager to gain some skills that would be useful, she took her first job at the infectious disease unit in St Bartholomew’s Hospital, specialising in HIV/Aids.
She then completed the Diploma in Tropical Nursing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, before going on to work as a surgical nurse in The Gambia and post-war Sierra Leone. On her return, she began working in an Emergency Department, keen to fill a knowledge gap and gain more transferable skills. During her time here, she completed an MSc in Public Health, after which she spent a year in Botswana working on a community HIV/Aids project with a small faith-based organisation.
Back in the UK, she continued to work in the Emergency Department, whilst also doing medical repatriation work. Jess then spent a further year in Africa, working as a clinic supervisor for Medecins Sans Frontieres in a rural HIV clinic in Zimbabwe. This involved collaborative working with the Ministry of Health as part of a project to decentralise care to more remote health facilities, with the goal of making medical care more accessible, whilst maintaining good standards. During this time, Jess fell firmly in love with Zimbabwe (as well as her, now, husband!)
Jess is currently combining work as a Clinical Research Nurse within the NHS with working as a Travel Health Nurse Specialist at an independent travel clinic in Exeter. She has a special interest in Global Health and is excited by the organisation’s decision to expand their reach in this area. Jess is looking for opportunities to combine these two aspects of her work, and, in the future, hopes to use her practical research skills to address neglected diseases and global health inequalities.