Fatoumata Barry Ibrahim Oumarou
A PASSION FOR MENTAL HEALTH EQUITY
When Fatoumata Barry Ibrahim Oumarou was in third grade, her mother, a primary school teacher, gave her a gift that would change the course of her life: She took her to the lone library in Niamey, Niger, and helped her apply for a library card.
Reading took her to worlds beyond her own and opened the door to a future laden with possibilities.
“This MPH will be the bridge between my vision for a healthier and equitable world and enhancing the impact of my work on communities from Niger to beyond.”
“I was fortunate to read in those books that we can do more than what we are ‘supposed’ to do,” says Barry Ibrahim O, an award-winning author who eventually wrote two books and co-authored two anthologies.
After excelling in science growing up, she enrolled in medical school, but found that she needed more creativity in her life. She took evening classes in communications, eventually taking part-time jobs writing social marketing content to raise awareness for HIV prevention and doing consulting work for UNICEF.
She did her thesis research on psychological distress in cancer patients to gather data and convince the Ministry of Public Health of the need for psychosocial interventions for cancer patients. Barry Ibrahim O carried this passion to serve the crisis-affected populations of Tillaberi, Niger, where she worked to implement a project to address primary and mental health needs.
At the Bloomberg School, she plans to learn strategies to develop and evaluate public health policies and programs, particularly for those seeking mental health care, rather than continue medical training.
“Eventually, I hope we will live in a world where every person living with a mental health condition will [have] … easy access to care and treatment and no stigma anymore.
MD, Abdou Moumouni University of Niamey, 2020; BS, Business Communication, Regional Institute of Computer, Marketing, Insurance and Management, 2016