Paul Ekeya Otwani's experience at WHO
Institutional Communication Service
11 May 2020
Some of the participants in the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management are directly involved in the Covid-19 emergency in their various professional fields. Paul Ekeya Otwani, originally from Kenya, is on a mission in South Sudan on behalf of the World Health Organization (WHO) and tells us about his experience.
Paul Ekeya Otwani started his career in his home country, Kenya, as a WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) construction logistics expert, implementing WASH in Health Structures on various topics, such as Water Supply, Sanitation, Hygiene, Infection Prevention and Control Infrastructure. Later, he implemented WASH projects in various communities, including IDP camps and refugee settlements. His experience has led him to work for Médecins Sans Frontières (France and Spain) travelling to different countries around the world with the aim of implementing emergency and long-term WASH projects in hospitals and local communities. He is currently providing support to the COVID-19 emergency in South Sudan with WHO. "I act as operational support and logistics leader for the COVID-19 emergency preparedness and response team in Juba, South Sudan. My key role is to render operations support and logistics to the other pillars. My role mainly covers supply chain management, operations and logistics support, health logistics and security support," explains Paul.
Humanitarian organisations play an important role in the global social agenda, and become vital particularly during global crisis situations. "Humanitarianism by definition seeks to address social issues in one way or another. Evidently, humanitarian interventions have significantly transformed the lives of people in distress and have significantly reduced vulnerability and poverty," continues Paul. Considering the vast range of recurring and growing demands he is faced with in his work, Paul needs to be flexible and adapt to change. "In particular, the main challenge is to align strategies with very different territorial environmental realities that limit performance and efficiency of operations," Paul points out.
In his daily work he also manages to apply the notions learned during the Master of Advanced Studies in Humanitarian Logistics and Management: "I have the opportunity to apply the various theoretical skills acquired at USI in my work, but I also bring with me an important background derived from the extensive interaction and sharing of experiences among students and teachers, which are a feature of this Master".
The full interview in English is available on the MASHLM page: http://www.mashlm.usi.ch/news/2020-04-24-000000/ten-questions-paul-ekeya-otwani-%E2%80%93-mashlm-10-2019-2020-participant