Ledor Igboh, who began her MPhil/PhD with LSHTM’s Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology in January 2020, is an epidemiologist in the Influenza Division at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta. In this interview, Ledor explains how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted her work.
How has the COVID-19 outbreak affected your work?
Due to the outbreak, I’ve had to adjust to full time telework but continue to collaborate remotely with teammates on ongoing and new projects. In my current work, we continue to expand and strengthen pandemic preparedness and response efforts internationally with proactive synergies with COVID-19 activities and ongoing international strategic priorities. In a sense, the COVID-19 outbreak has improved cross team and divisional collaborations in order to respond, protect and rebuild systems in countries affected by the outbreak.
How have you been responding to the outbreak personally?
To support the COVID-19 response, I have served as Surveillance Lead on the Epidemiology Team, International Task Force at U.S. CDC. I supported the EPI team to facilitate and operationalize recommended testing strategies and case investigation protocols in order to better understand transmission dynamics for COVID-19 internationally. I supported the EPI team to disseminate and translate guidance for data collection, management, and routine reporting for COVID-19 surveillance and analyses. I anticipate that given my current role I will likely continue to support the agency’s COVID-19 response at large as the global pandemic evolves.
How has your country’s response to the outbreak affected your work?
This outbreak has highlighted many opportunities to learn and adapt. The work continues in creative ways remotely on COVID and non-COVID work.
How have your studies so far at LSHTM helped you during this outbreak?
LSHTM’s training and engagement with my faculty advisors helps me to navigate the complexity of the current global pandemic, remain adaptable and maintain flexibility in the face of changing circumstances. My LSHTM training so far helps me recognize areas and opportunities to improve efficiencies and effectiveness while working and studying remotely.
Thank you for sharing your story. Is there anything else you would like to add?
Thank you for highlighting the work that classmates and alumni are doing all over the world.
LSHTM experts are at the forefront of efforts to map the progression of COVID-19, advise governments and global health bodies, and advance the public and scientific community’s understanding of the virus. We have launched a response fund to ensure this vital research continues to support global response efforts and help to save lives around the world.