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Micheal Naab is in an upbeat mood as he sits on the stairs of his university to give this interview. His excitement is palpable as he talks about his chosen course – Doctorate in Medical Laboratory Science at the University for Development Studies, Tamale.

“By providing reliable and accurate laboratory results, you are helping patients get the best treatment possible,” says Michael. Apart from diagnosis and scientific competence, the doctorate program trains students in early disease detection and prevention, quality care and design and fabrication of laboratory equipment.

Michael had always wanted to be a health personnel. He had initially considered becoming a doctor till he noticed the role of diagnosis in his father’s treatment for hepatitis. “Diagnosis is the basis of medical treatment and the backbone of doctors. Without proper test results, doctors will have to go in blind.”

With this concrete aspiration, Michael has pushed ahead to overcome his financial constraints to reach university. He is now in his second month of the six-year course. During vacations, he intends to work at a hospital laboratory to gain concrete experience and allow no gaps in his learning.

A typical day for Michael begins with a prayer at dawn. He then revises his lectures and sets off for university. After classes are over, he takes a quick nap before heading back to his studies again. In his free time, he loves to listen to motivational quotes and music and likes to sing. He was a part of his church choir and a favored  singer at his village gatherings.

Michael takes an active part in volunteer activities on campus. He has been a member of the St John Ambulance club since high school. With the medical training he received, he stabilized an asthmatic lady who had collapsed after managing the surrounding crowd. In an opposing case where people had abandoned an epileptic man, Michael came forward to remove all harmful objects from around the patient and braced him till the attack passed.

“Help,” realized Michael, “is not only financial aid. Your time and skill can also be of help to anyone in need. Even a simple act of offering water is helping someone who is thirsty.”

He recognizes his handicap in technology, so wants to be competent at using computers, as they are essential in his work. He plans to specialize in hematology if funds permit. 

Being on the path to realize his aspirations, Michael feels his luck and hopes to give back to his community and country as much as possible. He vows to grow into a health-worker whose diagnosis eases the burden and worry of people around him and whose research makes the world a more secure place to live in.

Interview Conducted by: Hajra Mirza

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