The Journey of Jean-Marion Aitken, an International Health Professional
Jean-Marion Aitken’s journey in the world of international health began with a chance encounter in Nepal. While working on a women’s non-formal literacy and community health program, she met Catriona Waddington who suggested she pursue a Master's degree in Community Health. After careful consideration, she applied for the MCommH program at Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and embarked on a new chapter in her life.
During her time at LSTM, Jean-Marion was exposed to a wealth of knowledge and technical skills that would shape her future career. The course was structured in a way that built on previous modules, and the small cohort allowed for close relationships to form. Jean-Marion valued the opportunity to learn from other students from all over the world and cherished the memories she made in Liverpool.
After completing her studies, Jean-Marion pursued a career in international health and joined the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID). Over the next 18 years, she worked as a Health Advisor in various countries, including Malawi, Cambodia, Kenya, and India. Each country presented unique challenges and opportunities, and Jean-Marion relished the chance to learn about different technical programs, politics, and history.
Jean-Marion’s fondest memory of her time in Liverpool was the people. She appreciated the warmth and humour of the people of Liverpool and valued the close relationships she formed with her fellow students and the LSTM community.
Her advice to current students at LSTM is to make the most of their time in Liverpool. She encourages students to enjoy all aspects of their experience and make meaningful connections with their colleagues and friends. Jean-Marion also emphasizes the importance of seeking out knowledge and experience from other courses and departments within LSTM.
Jean-Marion’s journey at LSTM was just the beginning of a successful and impactful career in international health. Her experiences and relationships formed in Liverpool continue to shape her work to this day.