Updates from the Field: Waruiru Mburu, CGHSR Scholar

World map with location pin on Ghana. Simple line art of faces wearing masks to the left of the map

Waruiru Mburu, a 2019-2020 CGHSR Scholar, shares her experiences dealing with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and what it means for her work as a CGHSR scholar in Ghana.

Portrait of Waruiru Mburu

My adjustment to the new normal for the past one month has been a roller coaster. The first two weeks I was on overdrive mode trying to communicate with my research team in Ghana and Minnesota, ensuring we had stocked up on food and essentials and checking in on family. The third week I crashed and had to take a break and focus on my wellbeing. The fourth week I bounced back and am now slowly adjusting to the new normal.

My UMN advisors — Drs. Kulasingam and Virnig — and the UMN CGHSR and NPGH Fogarty team have been extremely helpful as I adjust to the new normal. I have had to rely more on them to figure out my new research direction and staff management. I also made a list of what is within my control and what I can keep working on.

I am now focusing on analyzing the data that I currently have and then moving on to writing the manuscripts. I also have frequent phone calls with my research team in Ghana and have been honest on what we are able to achieve given the current circumstances. My Ghana mentors have also been very supportive as I transition and are very responsive to my requests which has made my life so much easier.

I am also taking long walks, doing yoga, reducing the news that I read, and being very deliberate on commitments that I agree to. Lastly, I am trying to be more kind to myself and others and remembering that we are all in this together and doing our best.

—Waruiru Mburu

Waruiru Mburu has also received a University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship for the upcoming academic year. Congratulations, Waruiru.

Updates from the Field

Our Updates from the Field Series features messages from the people around the world that are dedicated to the programs of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility.

Updates from the Field