Stories

Mary Fullah - MSc Public Health, 2013

Mary Fullah was working as Public Health Sister in Bombali District, in the north of Sierra Leone whilst she studied at Leeds Beckett via distance learning.

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She chose the course after hearing about the opportunity and recognising the name of Leeds Beckett from senior colleagues who had previously studied with us.

Mary said, “I enjoyed the course and I still have the confidence it gave me. At first, I was afraid that I might struggle with the course as a mature student but after the first few weeks realised that the course structure gave you the opportunity to build on the skills you already had. This method of learning gave me opportunities along the way for self-development. I started believing in my way of writing and analytical approach of issues.”

Mary was already well established in her career when she decided to choose to study with us and just one year into the course, she was posted to the Western Area District Health Management Team as a Senior Public Health Sister. She has since been the Principal Public Health Sister in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation and Deputy Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer. In 2019 she was promoted to Chief Nursing and Midwifery officer in the Ministry of Health and Sanitation.

As the Chief Nursing and Midwifery Officer in Sierra Leone, Mary oversees all nursing and midwifery services in the whole country. This includes coordinating partners in nursing and midwifery services, policy formulation, strategic plan development and ensuring its implementation, and intersectional collaboration across services.

As the highest position within her area she also participates in the management of the Nurses and Midwives Board and interacts with the Nursing and Midwifery Associations. Speaking about her role Mary said: “My days are always hectic. I start my day at 8:30 am with a clear plan for the day.

“The day is full of meetings, either ministerial, partner, or board meetings. It is often only late in the afternoon that I get the chance to look through my emails and reply to those that are urgent.” 

Looking back on her time at university Mary said “I have used partner mapping that I learnt in my studies to identify my partners in nursing and midwifery and these have helped me to receive support for the directorate, the training institutions and service delivery. I have also used the change management skills I developed to improve on service delivery, I have utilised the introduction of the preceptorship program and the internship program for new graduates to improve on service delivery, and the data analysis skills I gained on the course have helped me to make informed decisions throughout my career. 

“The course at Leeds Beckett is taught in layers like building blocks. My advice to those studying now is to make sure they cement each layer on top of the one before so that at the end, you will have a whole and complete understanding in Public Health Service delivery and management. Keep the memories of all of that you do, see and learn to help you in the future.”

“The course at Leeds Beckett is taught in layers like building blocks. My advice to those studying now is to make sure they cement each layer on top of the one before so that at the end, you will have a whole and complete understanding in Public Health Service delivery and management. Keep the memories of all of that you do, see and learn to help you in the future.”

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