Tag Archives: internship


-Emmanuel Kalu-

Hello. My name is Emmanuel and I did my internship with National Agency for Food and Drug Administration (NAFDAC) Lagos, Nigeria. NAFDAC is similar to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) of the United States of America. During the internship I was posted to three of her fourteen directorates of NAFDAC whose activities are closely associated to my studies in ‘Public Health Nutrition’; they are: Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (FSAN) Directorate, Port Inspection Directorate (PID), and Laboratory Service (LS) Directorate.

The FSAN seven division are: Food Evaluation Division, Food Inspection Division, MSM & Agricultural Products Division, Food Safety/Codex/ Food Policy & Reg/National Food Safety Mgt Committee Division, Food Storage & Quick Service Restaurants Division, Packaged Water Division, and Bakery & Baked Products Division. During my placement at FSAN, I was deployed to all the above FSAN divisions, so I acquired a lot of knowledge associated with food safety regulations. Then because going for field inspection is the primary duty of all FSAN staffs irrespective of their divisions, I was also regularly assigned to go for registration, renewal, and routine inspections where we inspected different food manufacturing companies both big and small, then on one occasion I went with a group of staffs for global listing inspection at a supermarket where we checked if all their food products meet the required safety standards.

I was also posted to the Port Inspection Directorate (PID) of NAFDAC. Out of the PID’s five divisions (Port Food Division, Port Drug Division, Port Chemical, Cosmetics and Medical Devices Division, New Technologies/ Post Port-Clearance Division, and Export Division) I was deployed to the Port Food Division, a division whose activities are also in concord with my studies in Public Health Nutrition. There I worked at the office of the Deputy Director in-charge of the division (Mr. S.F. Haruna). I was directly placed in-charge of receiving ‘Compliance Letters’. Compliance letters are the letters written to importers of NAFDAC regulated goods whose imported goods failed to meet NAFDAC regulation standards, and such importers are mostly ‘fined’. As I executed my duty, I observed repeated violations by some companies. Furthermore, at the PID monthly organised lecture meetings where her staffs from ports, outstations, and land boarders within Lagos assemble at the head office I was given the opportunity to give health lecture which I titled: ‘Towards Becoming an Emblem of Good Health’. Afterward my popularity in the directorate increased.

I was finally posted to the food division of the Laboratory Service (LS) Directorate where out of her eighteen units (Head of Laboratory office, Sample Office, Food Compliance 1, Food Compliance 2, Food Registration, Pesticide Residues, Pesticide Formulation, Microbiology, Mycotoxin, Sea Food, Alcoholic Beverages, Vitamin, Additive, and Lamime, Metals, Veterinary Drug, Water Examination, Radiation, Instrument Maintenance, and Melamine and Non-nutritive Sweeteners) I was only deployed to two (Water Examination Unit and Food Registration Unit). As I participated in the laboratory analyses at the Water Examination Unit, I learnt the SOPs (standard operating procedures) for the determination of free dissolved carbon dioxide, determination of methyl orange alkalinity, determination of chloride, determination of trace metals, determination of total alkalinity, determination of total hardness, determination of phenolphthalein alkalinity, determination of available chlorine. Similarly, as I participated in the laboratory analyses in the Food Registration Unit, I also learnt how the unit uses different SOPs for determining different product’s moisture content, total solid, ach content, total acidity, fat (Ross Gottlieb method), crude fibre, etc.

A letter from my supervisor (Arja Erkkilä) was of great importance to my securing the internship placement at NAFDAC. Then the three NAFDAC directorates (Food Safety and Applied Nutrition Directorate, Port Inspection Directorate, and Laboratory Service Directorate) where I had my placements and their divisions and units where I had my deployments best suit my internship need and interest because the activities there are in concord with my studies in Public Health Nutrition. It enabled me the privilege of getting practical experiences on many of what I had learnt in the classroom. As such, the internship placements contributed greatly to my personal and professional development. In addition, besides being an opportunity for me to know how the civil service works, it was also an opportunity for me to serve my father land since getting all my degrees abroad did not give me the privilege of doing an NYSC (National Youth Service Corps) service in Nigeria after my first degree. For more information about NAFDAC please check her website: https://www.nafdac.gov.ng/

Internship at IOM Brussels

-Hamza Khan-

Hello, my name is Hamza and I did my internship with the Regional office of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) for EU, EEA and NATO in Brussels, Belgium. During the Internship my core tasks were to monitor and write reports on the health of migrants coming to the European region from different parts of the world. The projects that I worked on were Re-Health2 and MiG-H, which focused on components such as “Communicable and Non-communicable diseases, Gender based violence, e-health and mental health issues”. We managed to cover the European countries by conducting 3-day workshops in first-line countries focusing on groups that have a first-hand interaction with migrants (Law enforcement officer, social workers and medical professionals). Besides health, I also got an insight on how the United Nations (U.N) work in general, the bureaucratic jargon, the do’s and don’ts etc. and I got to travel within Europe to get an experience of how things work in the field. It was definitely one of the best times of my learning experience.

(IOM – Office in Brussels)

(Grand Place – Brussels)

From the very beginning, I was interested in working on migration and health issues as well as e-health. I wanted to know how the data is collected, applied and how the projects are implemented. So, when I started my search for internships, I looked for multinational/ intergovernmental organizations and their offices around the world. I also joined a European portal called European Solidarity Corps through which, I would look at different internship offers. Secondly, I would mostly focus on offices in cities that are beta + or above because in my experience language is less of a barrier and it’s easier to communicate. And last but not least, I kept my morale high after every rejection because I was sure that I will get something if I keep trying.

My supervisor Arja Erkkila was of great help and support during this process. She not only encouraged me to apply but also helped me with the documents while supervising my thesis. The UEF staff was very supportive and the program in general provided me with a basis of public health that I could apply in the practical world.

If you want to know more about the projects, here is a link to it : https://www.re-health.eea.iom.int/


– Sujala Mathema-

I am Sujala Mathema from Nepal and I did my internship in Cochrane work. Cochrane Work is one of the branches of Cochrane. Cochrane is a non-profit organization that works in producing systematic reviews on health care interventions and promotes use of clinical trials. However, Cochrane work reviews topic related to effectiveness of occupational health interventions. These interventions help to improve adverse health outcomes at work like exposure to hazardous agent at work, harmful behaviors at work, occupational diseases, disorders, injuries, disability or sick leave. Nevertheless, the interventions also help in health promotion at work.

I learned about systematic review in my Master’s program in public health. I wanted to utilize my acquired knowledge into practice. Cochrane work has given me a platform to make use of my knowledge and work independently on systematic review. I was lucky enough to have this institute in Kuopio where I am living currently. The working environment is very flexible and comforting. The staffs in the institute is very welcoming and humble. It is a wonderful place to work if you want to take your study and internship simultaneously. This experience will not only make you learn about systematic review but give you an experience to work in a Finnish working environment. I highly recommend this institute to those students who have interest to learn about systematic review.

So, what we do in Cochrane???? You can find out about Cochrane review from the link given below. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGMiVGfWRH0

If you want to know more about Cochrane work, here is the link for it http://work.cochrane.org/

Kia Ora from Aotearoa!

– Lucy Wu –

Aotearoa is the Māori name for New Zealand and translates to the ‘land of the long white cloud’. I am incredibly fortunate to call this stunning country my home. Below is one of our famous black sand beaches from the west coast of the North Island.

Finland and Aotearoa are on opposite sides of the world, so here are a few facts about Aotearoa…

– Kia Ora means ‘to be well/healthy’ and is used as a greeting, farewell and expression of thanks
– Aotearoa is made of 2 main islands, North Island and South Island, with around 600 smaller islands within its waters
– Our national bird is the Kiwi; we also refer to ourselves as Kiwis
– We have the longest place name in the world
‘Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu’ which is roughly translated as “the place where Tamatea, the man with the big knees, who slid, climbed and swallowed mountains, known as the land-eater, played his nose flute to his loved ones”.
– First country to give women the vote in 1893
– Wellington is the southernmost capital in the world
– We have a very diverse and multicultural population with people from all around the world
– Auckland is the largest city where about 1.5 million people live; this is just over 1/3 of the county’s population
– Sir Edmund Hilary was first to climb Mt Everest and is on the $5 note
– We are a very friendly country where it is normal to smile and say hello to people you pass on the street, even when you don’t know them!

I went to Finland to complete a Master’s in Public Health and came back to complete an internship at a primary health organisation in Auckland called ProCare Health Ltd.

During this internship I worked on a project to help with the government’s goal of Smokefree 2025 where they aim to have less than 5% of the population smoking. The current rate is just over 15% with great variation depending on ethnicity, age and socioeconomic status. The internship itself was very challenging and it was a taste of how national policies and programs are actually implemented in the field. I was fortunate enough to attend many community events, below is the annual lantern festival where we got some delicious food!

Aotearoa is a very complex country from the health lens as it is not a homogenous population. There are specific needs for each population, which makes it incredibly hard to decide from the local to national level which issues to focus on and dedicate funding too. Though the country is highly developed, very blessed geographical and possess an open mind-set over all – there are still many challenges to overcome. In light of all the challenges and complexities, Aotearoa offers unique opportunities to make an impact and learn a great deal along the way. The country is fortunate enough to provide the opportunity to be at the forefront for many disciplines, from rowing to farming to earthquake engineering. The people, the nature and the food are definitely worth the long flight down to the bottom of the world.