Europe Maalim is a Health and Nutrition Programme Manager working with Trocaire, an international non-governmental organization that provides humanitarian and developmental assistance in South Central Somalia. She is currently having a career break to pursue an MSc in International Health and Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford.
Whilst at Trocaire, her job entails managing health and nutrition projects across five districts in South Central Somalia, overseeing health systems strengthening interventions, and providing essential packages of services to primarily hard-to-reach areas and internally displaced populations every month through static health facilities.
Before joining Trocaire, Europe studied at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) (ProDip Reproductive Health in limited Resource Settings, 2016) She learned about LSTM when it was running the FCDO-funded project called Making it Happen, an initiative led by the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health (CMNH) at LSTM. This initiative significantly improved the quality of maternal and newborn healthcare services in selected counties in Kenya. Europe got curious and learned more about LSTM. She found its rich history of leading work in tropical medicine and global health and its dedication to improving the health and well-being of those in low- and middle-income countries. All these made her know that this is a place she wants to study.
Europe chose to study at LSTM because she comes from Mandera County, which has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world at the time. The fact that LSTM, through the Centre for Maternal and Child Health, was doing initiatives that averted maternal and child mortalities in selected counties, made her confident that she would gather more knowledge and skills that would help her identify root causes, improve health outcomes, inform policy and programming that is hinged on evidence-based interventions that are tailored to the local context and ultimately contribute to the advancement of global maternal health.
Europe benefited immensely from her time at LSTM. She enjoyed the diversity of her class and made lifelong friends, academics, and mentors who have been an integral part of her journey to date. Whilst studying, she enjoyed academic visits to the Liverpool Women's Hospital and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists for a seminar on Global Women's Health care and a workshop on Clinical Audit and gynaecology skills course. She also visited the Cochrane Pregnancy and Childbirth Group in Liverpool, known for advancing evidence-based healthcare in low- and middle-income countries. As a football fan, she enjoyed her trips to Anfield, Goodison Park and visiting her favourite football club Old Trafford, the Theatre of Dreams. She also enjoyed her evening walks to the Albert docks and Liverpool museum.
Through the combination of classwork and practical sessions at LSTM, Europe acquired valuable skills that have enhanced her personal and professional life. She developed critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, teamwork, and technical skills related to maternal and child health in limited resource settings. These skills have improved her ability to succeed in her chosen field, which she has applied in her work. Additionally, her confidence has increased due to the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained from LSTM. This has made her feel more empowered and capable of achieving her goals. During her time at LSTM, she also gained clarity on her goals. She discovered that her passion is in improving maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health. The new perspectives, insights, and experiences gained have been integral in identifying her passions, strengths, and areas of interest, which have guided her career choices and personal development.
If talking to a group of prospective students, Europe would encourage them to take advantage of the resources offered by LSTM that will support their academic and personal growth, which include 24-hour library services and academic advisors (she still keeps in touch with hers to this date).