Julie Makani

Background:

Julie Makani was born in the year 1970 in Tanzania. She completed her primary school at

St. Constantine’s primary school. After she got herself trained in medicine from Muhimbili

University. In the year 1994, she received her medical degree and after that, in the year

1997, she did postgraduate studies in internal medicine from hammersmith hospital, a Commonwealth scholarship. As a research fellow, she went to Oxford and received a 4-year training fellowship in the year 2003 from the Wellcome trust in order to study Sickle Cell disease in Tanzania. The prospective surveillance was for over 2000 SCD patients.

Social Impact:

Sickle Cell disease is nothing but an inherited blood disorder where red blood cells become sickle for Crescent-shaped. It causes frequent infections, swelling in the hands and legs, severe tiredness, delayed growth, or puberty. This disease causes problems with blood flow throughout the body and it results in the transport of oxygen throughout the body. It is a genetic disorder and it can even lead to death. Approximately 11000 children per year are born with this type of disease in Tanzania. Seeing children dying from Sickle Cell Disease, she decided to research and find a solution and she was successful. Initially, she focused on factors such as bacterial infection, malaria, a stroke which trouble the patient and can lead to death.

She also collaborated with her colleagues and developed a biomedical Research and Healthcare program which is a great initiative. Currently, she is interested in the role of anemia and hemoglobin in influencing disease in SCD. With the help of her colleagues, she is working towards establishing networks at the National level. She is the co-founder of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania. She aims to use Sickle Cell disease as a model for establishing scientific as well as health care solutions in Africa that are relevant and have Global significance

Accolades:

For her incredible research, she received many honors. In the year 2007, she received a fellowship for attending the teddy Global meeting in Tanzania. From the African leadership Institute, she received an Archbishop for leadership. In 2011, she was honored with the Royal Society Pizza award Swift. The awarded grant was later used for research work. She attended the TEDGlobal event in Arusha, Tanzania. In 2019, her name was also present in the rest of BBC 100 women. She is a role model for the young African scientist wishing to make a difference on the continent and worldwide.

Written By-

Pranali Mahindrakar, Student of BSc. CS, Pune

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