Broadening His Impact
Executive MPH Program, Applied Epidemiology Track, MPH ’22
Certificates in Complex Humanitarian Emergency, Climate and Health
“At Rollins, you are never going to be alone. There will always be somebody to speak to or somebody to support you.”
Aly Drame was a medical student in Guinea during the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which greatly influenced the future of his studies and work. Before graduating with an MD from Kofi Annan University of Guinea in 2016, he worked as an epidemiologist with the World Health Organization (WHO), helping to do contact tracing and community engagement. Drame originally wanted to be a cardiologist, but this experience left a profound impact and changed his path.
“I found it the natural next step to pursue studies in public health, to be able to reach out to [and have an impact on] more people,” Drame says.
After his post with the WHO, Drame took a job as national health supervisor for the National Agency of Health Security (a health agency of the Guinea government), for a year. Being in a location where several international organizations were providing aid, he also had the opportunity to speak with employees of the CDC who were doing work in Guinea during that time. When he asked around about pursuing a Master of Public Health, most of them suggested Rollins.
“I needed a program with a lot of flexibility that allows me to do something for a living while I'm going to school. So, I found that the EMPH program was perfect for me,” says Drame, who speaks highly of the caliber of his fellow students.
A highlight of his Rollins experience thus far has been the sense of support he receives from his classmates, advisor, and faculty. “At Rollins, you are never going to be alone. There will always be somebody to speak to or somebody to support you.”
For prospective students, he adds, “It’s a challenging school and you need to be ready for that. And if you’re ready for that, everything will go smoothly.”
As of now, Drame doesn’t have a specific job in mind after graduation. However, he aspires to do public health work in a developing country where there aren’t many resources or infrastructure for public health.
“If you go to developing countries, it’s different because you feel like nothing has been done yet. So, everything needs to be done from scratch. In the public health field, there is more need over there than here,” Drame says.
He also plans to continue learning languages (he is currently enrolled in Spanish classes). Drame is already fluent in French; his native languages of Soso, Mandingo and Pulaar; and English.
“That's something that's going to help me to kind of be able to be anywhere.”