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Meet Rosalia Nghitalesheni Joseph, the first female entomologist in Namibia



“I come from an environmental biology background where I learned how the weather and environmental conditions affect the spread of diseases like malaria because of how disease vectors flourish during rainy seasons. This, and my love for medicinal research were the foundation that grew my interest in how these diseases affect human beings and how to prevent their transmission.”

Nghitalesheni is experienced in the development of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), project management, and operational experiences of the District Health Information Software (DHIS).

As a die-hard Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) advocate, she is committed to ensuring adequate and quality healthcare services to everyone, as she firmly believes it is a fundamental human right.

The award-winning entomologist is currently the Regional Coordinator of Women in Vector Control (WIVC) for Central and Southern Africa since June 2022. She has been the ALMA (African Leaders Malaria Alliance) Country Lead for Malaria Youth Champions since November 2021, and also a member of the Roll Back Malaria Youth Workstream, where she helps in combating, implementing, and accelerating programs to end malaria.

Nghitalesheni attended J.G Van der Wath High School (2008 – 2012) and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and a Master of Science degree in Medical Entomology; both from the University of Namibia from 2013 – 2016, and in 2018 respectfully.

The 28-year-old medical entomologist and public health researcher has received much recognition, including the Women in Vector Control Excellence Award from the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association. Nghitalesheni is also part of the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 Class of 2023.

“As an Entomologist, I aim my research work at not only saving the average Namibian, but contributing to saving Africans at large. The scarcity of women in STEM, especially entomology in Southern Africa, motivates me to shift the paradigm. I believe inspiring a girl child will and helping them know that there are no boundaries to excellence.”



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