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Rassidatou Konate

Kongoussi, Burkina Faso

Ending Preventable Deaths

After Rassidatou Konate’s mother died of breast cancer when Konate was just six years old, she set her sights on becoming a doctor. But by the time her father died 12 years later of complications from a motorcycle accident, Konate had become disillusioned with medicine and hospitals.

In the Burkina Faso hospital where her father was treated, she had witnessed terrible scenes: patients dying with no beds, equipment, or resources.

“My biggest hope is that I can make a significant contribution to ending preventable deaths in Burkina Faso and beyond.”

“I started to realize that doctors were powerless a lot of the time,” Konate says. “Even if they wanted to help patients, they didn’t have the means to do it.”

Konate found her calling when a speaker from the World Health Organization gave a talk at her high school. Later, as a public health major at the University of California, Berkeley, she founded Lafia, a nonprofit organization that focuses on early detection of diseases, including some cancers, diabetes, and hepatitis, as well as engaging youth in sexual and reproductive health education.

In her MPH program, Konate is focusing on health leadership and management, gaining skills that will help her further her nonprofit and potentially work in larger public health organizations in the future.

“My biggest hope is that I can make a significant contribution to ending preventable deaths in Burkina Faso and beyond,” she says.

Profile photo of Rassidatou Konate

FROM
Kongoussi, Burkina Faso

DEGREES
BA, Public Health and Global Poverty and Practice, University of California, Berkeley, 2019

PURSUING
MPH