In January 2022, Health Systems Global (HSG) and the Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research (The Alliance), in close collaboration with Health Policy and Planning, invited applications from early-career women based in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) working on health policy and systems research (HPSR), looking to publish their research for the first time in a global peer-reviewed journal, but requiring guidance and support to submit a publishable manuscript. Thirteen mentees were selected, welcomed into the program and paired with their Mentors. Linet Okoth who works at LVCT Health and is part of ARISE made it to the selection and it is a very proud moment for the ARISE family. Linet Okoth is also an Emerging Voice; an innovative multi-partner blended training program for promising and emerging health policy & systems researchers, decision makers, and other health system actors with an interest to become influential global health voices and/or local change makers.
Linet Okoth is a developing Kenyan health systems researcher at LVCT Health. LVCT Health is a not for profit organization that works to reduce new HIV infections and increase equitable access to quality health services using a research, policy, and practice model. The model generates and utilizes evidence from research and practice to inform National policies. She has vast experience in policy engagement at the National, County, Sub-county, and community levels. In her capacity, Linet provides leadership, direction, and technical oversight to different research and implementation programmes, such as the USAID SQALE program which focused on the implementation of Quality Improvement at the community level.
Linet is a Clinical Officer with a Degree in Psychology and a Postgraduate in Global Health. She has over 10 years’ experience in HIV/AIDS, TB/HIV, Nutrition, reproductive health, family planning, malaria, maternal, newborn, and child health programming. She is passionate about making the voice of community members heard and involved in decision-making. She is a member in the Quality Improvement, Community Health and Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal and Adolescent Health technical working group. She has contributed to the development of the Quality of Care Standard Operating Procedure guidelines as well as the facilitator’s manual for QI for level 1. Her key research interests focus on understanding the factors that influence access of maternal and child health services among teenage mothers.
She was compelled to apply to the Health Systems Global (HSG) mentorship programme by her need and deep admiration for authoring a publication and particularly being a lead author. This is fueled by her passion to share her knowledge and influence policy through research.
Her research will delve into understanding the reasons why pregnant and parenting adolescents experience challenges in utilizing maternal and child health services in the urban informal settlements, despite the fact that the government declared free maternity services for all.
Linet sees an array of opportunities that come with the mentorship program. In addition to networking with peers during the mentorship period and beyond; the program also provides access and utilization of expertise provided by the seasoned researchers. She believes that pairing of these researchers with the upcoming researchers provides hope and energy to soldier on; as well as a platform to learn from the best.
Linet is excited and is looking forward to the program. Once she completes the program, she hopes to publish her first paper as a lead author. Her attendance and participation also provides a platform to present her work internationally, provide opportunities to write and publish more papers and network both locally and globally.