As the HLB-SIMPLe Alliance is large and quite dispersed geographically, we want to help you get to know some of the brilliant people who enable our groundbreaking research. This month, we are featuring Luanaledi Chunga (she goes by Naledi), a clinical research mentor on the TASKPEN Zambia team and trainee in the RCC’s Science Communication Cohort, which teaches foundational concepts of communication, storytelling, and research dissemination to attract visibility from priority audiences. We hope you will enjoy getting to know a little bit about Naledi.

Q: Could you tell us a little about yourself, your background and interests, and how you came to be in your current role?

A: I am a medical doctor, I have worked with the team for just over a year, previously I worked as a medical volunteer. My current role at the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia is as a Clinical Research Mentor in the TASKPEN project focusing on implementation science. I was scouted for the role by a former supervisor who appreciated my work ethic, interests in health policy and implementation research, and my approach to health practice. 

Q: How do you spend your time away from work?

A: I’m a devoted auntie, with nine niblings, I spend my weekends entertaining the niblings. When I am not entertaining, I read a lot. I enjoy listening to podcasts, crafting and recently, crocheting. I’m the fourth of five children and we are all quite close as siblings. 

Q: What are the most important things you have learned from your involvement in HLB-SIMPLe so far and the Science Communication Cohort?

I learnt that research is a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fulfilling work if you have the right team. I have also learnt the endless possibilities of implementation research and the importance of researching strategies before applying them.

The science comms cohort has taught me to think outside the scope of being a doctor and to consider how making things simple and relatable can be the difference between a good or a poor outcome (with patients, peers, and even policy makers). Being able to communicate objective data in a relatable manner is a key step to developing policies that work.  

Q: What aspirations do you have for the future?

A: I hope to one day have my PhD and be a respected member of the research community, working to inform policy within the low- middle income country context. I also hope to mentor, teach and grow research interests in younger people. And I hope to remain beloved by all 9 (maybe more) nephews and nieces. (I’m a lot more fun than I might seem!).


Thanks, Naledi, for taking time away from your busy schedule to answer our questions!