Prof Rokhaya Diallo – Chair of Human Genetics at the Cheikh Anta Diop University – Senegal
This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Prof Rokhaya Ndiaye Diallo, who is a professor in Human Genetics and holds the chair of Human Genetics at the Faculty of Medicine, Pharmacy and Odontology at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal. She is a founding member and general secretary of the Senegalese Society for Human Genetics (S2GH), a member of the executive committee of the African Society of Human Genetics (AfSHG) and the H3Africa consortium, and she is leading the Senegalese Reference genome project SEN-GENOME.
We discuss tertiary education as an enabler and equalizer. Education at public universities in Senegal is free for Senegalese citizens. This policy produces an informed society of educated young people that can problem solve for the economic development of the country and creates equal opportunity where people are not precluded from advancing themselves because of affordability.
Prof Ndiaye emphasises the importance of healthcare in Africa and the lack of human and infrastructure resources to make good healthcare sustainable. She notes that human genetics is the future of health for the continent. She runs several genetics related projects, including breast cancer genetics and the SEN-GENOME project, which aims to create a reference genome for Senegal, with the goal of establishing personalized medicine to individuals.
To help close gender gaps Prof Ndiaye suggests that women are given appropriate support to balance the practicalities of motherhood and career progression, have access to mentors to help their development, be eligible for funding to finance their research and have a planned career trajectory to advance their professional goals. Tune in for more.