Charity Usifoh-Chenge is a healthcare professional, who is passionate about health systems that work, especially in developing countries.
Usifoh-Chenge has evolved in three major dimensions as a public health specialist, health systems strategist and founder of a social enterprise.
She is a co-founder and lead volunteer at the Centre for Health Systems Support (CHESIDS), a board member of several non-profit boards and a member of a leading global development organisation.
Charity’s 24 years of progressive public health experience spans international, national and sub-national roles on strategic planning for public health, reproductive, maternal and child health programs; HIV prevention, care and treatment programmes, and health systems strengthening initiatives (Governance, HRH, health commodities supply chain, health financing and service delivery models.)
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At the Geneva headquarters of the Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria, she led a workstream that developed a framework for joint HSS application mechanisms between the Global Fund and GAVI. She also led the development of a modified strategy to strengthen interagency dialogue on emerging global evidence (on AIDS, TB, and Malaria) ahead of the technical review of country applications to the Global Fund.
With decades of experience, Charity certainly has had her clinical experiences but her worst, according to her, which actually hastened her transition away from clinical medicine, was driven by the poor management of Nigeria’s health system.
“One often had to carry clinical supplies in the pockets of one’s clinical coat, particularly if you’re in a government facility, because if you were depending on going to the store for consumables, and the family came in on an emergency or whatever, and you didn’t have supplies in your pockets, you were almost carrying the blame of the entire government.” She said.
On public health and health promotion, she is worried about the low numbers of medical professionals and medications and therefore believes that strengthening health systems is the way to go.
As a visionary public health leader and mentor, she believes that medical professionals must consistently raise the bar and challenge themselves to do more.
Charity received her medical training at the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. She holds a master’s in public health (MPH) from the same institution and holds an MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Economics (LSE) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), both of the University of London. She is a doctoral candidate (DrPH) in Public Health Leadership at the Gilling’s School of Global Public Health of the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill.