Marie Ojiambo, is competing in the Miss Africa USA 2013 Pageant and needs your vote.
Marie Ojiambo is a Doctor of Pharmacy who graduated with a bachelor of Pharmacy from the University of Nairobi, School of Pharmacy, Kenya and subsequently relocated to the United States of America for further studies.
She is currently pursuing a MSc in Industrial Pharmacy, thesis program, at St. Johns University, Queens, NY. Her career focus lies in the area of Drug Research and Development (R & D). This encompasses research on aspects such as drug discovery, development and production, as well as the evaluation of drugs and pharmaceutical products.
Growing up in a family of 5, a single mother and 4 siblings, Marie?s strongest influence in terms of her academic and career course has been her mother who is a medical doctor by training with a master’s in public health.
Her mother has always emphasized the importance of education in a young lady?s life. She encouraged Marie to stand and be heard, saying ?it is not always important to win, what is more important is that you stood up to be counted and you were a part of the process or the competition?.Marie was born and has been raised with Sickle cell disease which is what her platform focuses on.
On moving to the United States of America, the young Doctor fell sick and realized how little people knew about the disease, medical personnel included. This marked a turning point in her life.
She decided to dedicate all her free time to raising awareness around the disease and finding ways by which she could assist other patients suffering the condition. Her primary target is individuals afflicted with the condition who stem from needy backgrounds and who are in need of a strong support system of which she has been fortunate to have.
Sickle cell disease is the most common genetic disease in the world and is most affects individuals from Africa, South or Central America (especially Panama), Caribbean islands, Mediterranean countries (such as Turkey, Greece, and Italy), India, and Saudi Arabia. In the United States, about 1 in every 500 African Americans are born with the disease.
Hispanic Americans are also affected at a rate of about 1 in 1,000 to 1,400.Marie is currently working on starting a program “Adopt a Sickler” whose mandate is to offer medical support to needy patients suffering sickle cell disease. The program will work by coupling up a patient who is in critical need of medication with a sponsor who would finance the patients chemotherapy for a year or longer.
Marie terms this goal very attainable. She considers herself fortunate to be able to receive the medication she requires to keep her in good health and says it would cost a sponsor a maximum of 7 US dollars per month to see that a child or young adult suffering from sickle cell disease receives their daily medication.Marie is currently making arrangements to take up the daily medical expenses of 3 young children suffering the disease from her home country Kenya and says that her projects sustainability is purely dependent on goodwill.
She plans to have medical awareness camps in areas that are sickle cell endemic. These will serve to make patients more aware on the disease, educate them on how to live a healthy lifestyle with the disease, give free screening and counseling services to at risk couples and children plus encourage the doctors who treat these patients. Support groups for patients and their families she says are very important. Her initiative will focus on starting support groups where none exist and encourage the continuity of such groups where they are already up and running.
These groups will be guided, overseen and kept running by medical personnel from the areas where they are set up.Aside from these Marie is also affiliated with Fashion for development, Talanta Africa Incorporation, Care for Kenya and the International Youth Council (Kenyan Chapter). The young doctor enjoys the outdoors, reading and travelling.
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