“I decided to pursue a Master of Science in Global Health when I was in South Africa volunteering as a nurse,” explains Lauranne Larose, who started the MSc Global Health program at McMaster this week.
“Working in a township of Cape Town, I was part of a small American NGO, and I really disagreed with its philosophy,” she says. “I realized there are different schools of thought when it comes to international cooperation, and I needed to deepen my studies so I could take a strong position and engage in something I really believe in.”
Larose qualified as a registered nurse since 2008, and has since worked mainly in paediatrics at Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center, in the department of hemato-oncology and bone marrow transplants.
Originally from Montreal, Larose earned a B.A in Political Science and International Relations from Yonsei University in South Korea – an experience that she says gave her insight into what it means to be “a foreigner in a country that is, culturally, very different.” Living Korea, she explains, “made me rethink multiculturalism and inclusion in Canada.”
Larose also has a keen interest in Chinese culture and politics, having studied Chinese since 2007, first at the Confucius Institute in Québec, and later at the Communication University of China in Beijing. She plans to write her MSc GH thesis on “the Chinese presence Africa, specifically with respect to health cooperation in comparison to western organizations and NGOs.”
Last spring, Larose worked for Médecins du Monde (Doctors of the World) as the Infection Prevention Control (IPC) Referent for the Liberia Mission. “I had wanted to participate in the international effort since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak,” she explains, “because I believe it is our shared burden and that we were all at very high risk.”
Working in a team with a local nurse, Larose was responsible for implementing the new Ebola IPC protocols in five public clinics in the city’s capitol, Monrovia. There, Larose organized trainings for health workers, participated in daily field supervisions, and attended meetings with partners and government representatives. “I also discovered first hand that global health is a truly multidisciplinary field,” she says, explaining that, “it's not only about health and medicine, but also about politics, culture, and economics. It’s also about collaboration. We learned from each other and shared our humanity together.”
During her studies at McMaster, Larose says she wishes to “engage in the international debate on global health, to learn about different perspectives, and to be challenged in my opinion.”