GlaxoSmithKline welcomes LSHTM scholarship recipients to their Head Office

MSc students Victor Mithi, Stella Onwubiko and Dede Latey are the 2022-23 recipients of the GSK Scholarship for Future Health Leaders
Team in front of GlaxoSmithKline logo

On 5th April 2023, long-standing LSHTM partner and supporter GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) welcomed the 2022-23 recipients of the GSK Scholarship for Future Health Leaders.

Established in 2018, the scholarship provides transformative financial support to three LSHTM MSc students from sub-Saharan Africa each year, helping talented and ambitious individuals to access to a London-based Postgraduate education so they can build their knowledge and expertise in a world-leading research and training environment.

This year’s recipients, Victor Mithi (MSc Public Health for Development), Stella Onwubiko (MSc Public Health for Eye Care) and Dede Latey (MSc Health Policy Planning & Financing) are all formidable young public health leaders. They are among 15 students to have received the GSK scholarship in the last five years, with a further 15 due to be supported through their studies in the next five years.

Previous recipients of the scholarship who are now part of LSHTM’s global alumni community have gone on to pursue further education or research opportunities in the UK, or returned to their home country to apply their experience to strengthening the national healthcare system.

At the meeting on 5th April, which was led by Dr Juliet Addo – an LSHTM alumna herself who is now Global Health Academic Engagement Director & Head of the Africa Open Lab at GSK – Victor, Stella and Dede shared their stories, aspirations and gratitude to GSK. They also shared valuable insights and perspectives from their extensive experience of medical research, training, advocacy and practice, and offered suggestions for how large pharmaceutical companies like GSK can improve operations in their home countries.

Victor, a medical doctor, discussed the burden of HIV and noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) in Malawi and the importance of reducing stigmas and improving treatments to ultimately improve the quality of life for those living with conditions. Stella, an ophthalmologist, spoke about the need for free eye screenings in schools to help diagnose eye conditions among students, and the urgency of improving education around the growing problem of earlyonset glaucoma in Nigeria. Finally, Dede, also a medical doctor, shared his passion for making mental health more equitable for Ghanaians, particularly by creating public awareness through games for young people.

The meeting was a unique opportunity for mutual idea-sharing and networking between GSK staff and current LSHTM students. The GSK Scholarship for Future Health leaders was conceived as a means of improving access to a high-quality education for exceptional candidates from sub-Saharan Africa, and the personal experiences shared by Victor, Stella and Dede illustrated their remarkable expertise and passion for driving change in their respective healthcare systems.

The opportunity provided by GSK and the knowledge they will build at LSHTM will help to make this possible. Our gratitude goes to GSK for their commitment to supporting LSHTM students during their time here, and ultimately to enabling the personal and professional development which will help these scholars make an impact on the global health landscape.

LSHTM team who visited GlaxoSmithKline