Talented female WUR alumni supported in advancing their global health career

February 10, 2023

WUR alumni Martyna Hogendorf and Adita de Haan-Fuentes Usquiano will be able to take the next step in their career thanks to the Marina van Damme Grant. They received the grant on February 9th during an intimate ceremony on the Wageningen Campus. The female alumni are both active in the field of global health and will use the grant of € 9,000 to extend their knowledge and advance their career.

“This grant is my opportunity to get certified”

Adita de Haan - Fuentes left her home country Peru to pursue her master’s degree in Food Technology in Wageningen in 2010. Since then, Adita has been active in procurement of medical resources, such as rapid diagnostic tests and medical equipment/ supplies. She currently works for an NGO, where she manages the sourcing and contracting process for a humanitarian organizations, such as the Global Fund. “I feel that I am contributing to the lives of people in lower income countries, by giving them access to quality health products.”

With the grant from the Marina van Damme Fund, she will be able to obtain a procurement certification - within the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply. “This is an extremely highly regarded qualification and is considered to be one of the most prestigious qualifications a procurement professional can achieve.” The certification will help Adita to develop skills and competences and to gain more knowledge of her field.

Adita is happy she was able to get the grant, as she was not able to finance the certification herself in the near future. “Getting this certification had been on my mind for a long time, and this grant was like the light at the end of the tunnel for me. I cannot wait to show my certificate to Ms. Van Damme once I receive it.”

“I am determined to become a leader in global health”

Martyna Hogendorf obtained her MSc degree from Wageningen University in Nutrition and Health (specialisation Public Health Nutrition and Epidemiology) in 2018 and started working for the World Health Organization (WHO) shortly after. With her team in the department for noncommunicable diseases (NCDs), Martyna contributes to strengthening health systems in low- and middle-income countries to address NCDs such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases. She currently coordinates a five-year initiative in Ethiopia, Ghana, Nepal, India, and Myanmar, supporting countries through the project cycle of proposal development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of health system interventions to ensure that proper structures are put in place and people get the care they need to prevent and manage NCDs.

As Martyna looks towards the future, she is adamant to become a leader in her field and contribute to the global NCD agenda through implementation research and sustained country support. Therefore, she has recently started her doctorate in Public Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, a degree which she plans to complete next to her current job. “I hope to drive innovative research, build my technical capacity and develop leadership and organizational management skills which are critical in translating research to practice.” The Marina van Damme grant will support Martyna in following two courses within her doctorate program to enhance her capacity and confidence to become a global health leader.