Class 13 (2014-2016)
Jean-Lambert Chalachala, Democratic Republic of Congo
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – Department of Maternal and Child Health
Jean Lambert graduated from the department of medicine at the University of Kisangani in 2002. After graduating, he went to the village of Yakusu to help with the rehabilitation of their main hospital that had been completely destroyed and looted during the successive waves of war violence. With the help of local communities, the hospital was again serving patients within 3 months of his arrival. With no available resources, Jean Lambert began going to the nearby villages to provide medical consultations and other basic services to the population who were unable to come to the hospital either because it was too far or they were too ill to walk. After leaders of the Baptist Church, those in ownership of the hospital, received word of Jean Lambert’s work, he was offered residency training at their main teaching hospital in Kimpese in the Southwestern part of the country for three years. Following residency, in 2006, he worked as an emergency doctor with Doctors without Borders (a humanitarian medical NGO). He began touring the country to lead responses to epidemic outbreaks that were generalized as the health system continued to collapse. In 2008, he received an opportunity to work for a year with Doctors of the World in a project providing medical and social support to the Kinshasa street children. At that time, the University of North Carolina was the dominant provider of HIV services in the DRC and was conducting a lot a research. When Jean Lambert received the opportunity to join the UNC team in Kinshasa, he welcomed it and started volunteering to help anyone on the team with their research project. For the past 5 years that he worked with UNC Programs in the DRC, he helped implement many different research projects.
Africa and elsewhere in the world, where war and conflict are present, will only have lasting peace, when people are in good health and have the ability to rebuild their lives beyond the traumatic events they have been through. Upon completion of the Rotary World Peace Program, Jean Lambert is going to contribute to building health systems that can efficiently care for the populations by pursuing a career within maternal and child health as well as in research.