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Meet Rosalia Joseph, The First Female Entomologist in Namibia

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First female medical entomologist in Namibia, Rosalia Nghitalesheni Joseph is a skilled researcher in public health with more than five years of experience in research, consultation, laboratory, and insectary management. She has established a reputation for continuously producing great outcomes in academic research, operational research, and vector surveillance and control throughout the years.

“I come from an environmental biology background where I learned how the weather and environmental conditions affect the spread of diseases like malaria because of how disease vectors flourish during rainy seasons. This, and my love for medicinal research were the foundation that grew my interest in how these diseases affect human beings and how to prevent their transmission.”

Nghitalesheni has experience in project management, developing Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), and using the District Health Information Software (DHIS).

She is a fierce supporter of the Sustainable Development Goal 3 (SDG3) and is dedicated to making sure that everyone has access to affordable, high-quality healthcare since she passionately thinks that it is a basic human right.

Since June 2022, the honor-winning entomologist has served as the Central and Southern Africa region’s WIVC regional coordinator. Since November 2021, she has served as the ALMA (African Leaders Malaria Alliance) Country Lead for Malaria Youth Champions. She is also a participant in the Roll Back Malaria Youth Workstream, where she contributes to the development, implementation, and speeding up of initiatives to end malaria.

Nghitalesheni graduated from J.G. Van der Wath High School from 2008 to 2012 and the University of Namibia from 2013 to 2016 and 2018 respectively with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Biology and a Master of Science in Medical Entomology.

The 28-year-old medical entomologist and public health researcher has won numerous awards, including the Pan-African Mosquito Control Association’s Women in Vector Control Excellence Award. Nghitalesheni is a member of the 2023 class of the Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 list.

“As an Entomologist, I aim my research work at not only saving the average Namibian, but contributing to saving Africans at large. The scarcity of women in STEM, especially entomology in Southern Africa, motivates me to shift the paradigm. I believe inspiring a girl child will and helping them know that there are no boundaries to excellence.”

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