Dr. Francine Kouya was born Tchintseme Francine in the capital city of Cameroon. She obtained her Medical Degree at the Faculte des Sciences de la Sante Cotonou, in the Benin Republic in 1999. She completed a residency at the Baptist Institute Health of Sciences in Cameroon focused on Internal Medicine, after which she added two years of training in medical oncology in Stellenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa.
Dr. Kouya is currently the Supervisor of Clinical Oncology in the Cameroon Baptist Convention Health Service in Cameroon. She runs the second paediatric oncology unit and offers care to families with very limited resources.
She is pursuing the Master’s in Global Child Health from St. Jude because with this training she wants to be a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves by influencing policy. She also wants to improve her capacity in conduct research so that she can raise the visibility of what can be achieved in places such as Cameroon.
Kouya is a member of the Cameroon Paediatric Oncology group (CPOG), which has successfully convinced the national government to introduce paediatric oncology in their five-year plan. CPOG has also introduced a celebration for International Childhood Cancer Day in Cameroon.
Kouya’s research interests include understanding how to better serve survivors of childhood cancer in low- and-middle income countries. She strives to be a force in her community to change the narrative so that people understand that cancer does not have to be a death sentence in Africa. Working with survivors and sharing their testimonies can help reduce abandonment thus improving survival rates in childhood cancer.
Hometown: Yaoundé, Cameroon