Gloria Otoo

Gloria Otoo

This past summer of 2013, Ms. Gloria Otoo had the pleasure and privilege to participate in a dual scientific research project in Africa, her country of origin. Ms. Otto studied (1) the tracking of malaria disease prevalence; its initial work beginning in 1998 and (2) the therapeutic efficacy of anti-malarial medications in Ghana, which is a more recent initiative.

This is a multi-organizational project with the National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), World Health Organization (WHO), and the surveillance system team from the epidemiology department of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).  Gloria chose this particular project because during her PhD studies in Nursing at Molloy College, she gained a broader perspective of health issues around the world. Gloria recounts that a prevalent condition in another nation can impact global health and economy, no matter the distance.

Knowing that Malaria remains one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, especially in Africa (Abuaku et al., 2012) and participating in a project that can eventually eradicate such a deadly disease brought great joy to Gloria. The significance of collaborating with such distinguished professionals in her home country was both mutually educational and professionally enriching for Ms. Otoo.  Ms. Otoo’s joy was exponentially amplified by her ability to spend quality time with her mother when she was not working on the project. Team members were energized by Gloria’s full support of the project and the effort involved with its success. The rigorous and thorough research studies at Molloy College prepared Ms. Otoo for the role of scientific nurse researcher.  

Gloria’s message to anyone with similar global health interests is ‘Go for it!’. Her advice for any nurse leader conducting research with a new international program is to practice effective teamwork and communication with multidisciplinary members of the team to foster collaboration. Gloria lives by the guiding principles taught to her by her mother; enthusiasm to learn, appreciation for others and collaboration. Although Gloria encountered travel challenges and balancing complex schedules, comparing the benefits for the greater good of society, she says ‘it was all worth it’.—gloria-otoo

Ms. Gloria Otoo is a PhD student in the Nursing program at Molloy College in Rockville Center, New York.