Uzoamaka Osikhena is AMP Health's new Regional Head, Anglophone Africa. Uzo recently sat down to share some information about herself with the AMP Health community.
Q: What is your hometown?
Uzo: Hackensack, New Jersey; Lagos, Nigeria. Product of both places
Q: Before joining AMP Health, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve had?
Uzo: Years before joining AMP Health, I worked for DeWalt power tools as a Brand Representative. The role involved travelling across the US to NASCAR races where I sometimes worked as an event host facilitating car-cutting, tire-changing, and wood-sawing contests all using DeWalt power tools of course. I learned a lot about branding and customer loyalty and met several spirited, die-hard DeWalt fans along the way. It was great to see people relate to a brand with such intense passion.
Q: What made you interested in joining AMP Health?
Uzo: After working with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Nigeria as part of a partner organization, I came to understand that in an effort to improve health outcomes partners often replace the capacity of the MoH and supporting government agencies at both the national and sub-national levels. While replacing this capacity has resulted in several successful partner-led programs, the issue of sustainability is often left unsolved and programs sometimes stop abruptly leaving a gap in the system. I was drawn to AMP Health because we seek to build the leadership and management capability of the MoH to allow them to be in the driver seat, coordinating partners and donors towards a government-driven strategy which is inherently more sustainable. AMP Health seeks to enhance the MoH’s ability to own and implement their community health programs and I am thrilled to be a part of that mission.
Q: What are 3 words you would use to describe Africa?
Uzo: Vibrant, Dynamic, Promising
Q: What have been the most gratifying and challenging aspects of your work thus far?
Uzo: Being less than two months in, it is a bit early to have gotten to a place of immense gratification. However, I believe that one of the challenges for AMP Health is translating improved leadership and management capability of the MoH to improved health outcomes. Ensuring that with stronger leadership and coordination at the MoH, a culture of stronger implementation, accountability, and focus on results can be developed all the way from the central level to the service delivery level. Unpacking this challenge and solving for the bottlenecks is something that I’m really looking forward to doing with the team.
Q: What do you like to do in your spare time?
Uzo: I enjoy cooking, I especially enjoy creating recipes that fuse Nigerian and American cuisine.
Q: People would be surprised if they knew…
Uzo: that I did amateur boxing competitively a few years ago.
Q: What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Uzo: At a young age, my mom told me to always “think before you speak.” By nature, I have a very direct communication style so this piece of advice helps me pause and consider the impact of how I express myself to others.