SINGAPORE – NOVEMBER, 8, 2015 – Infectious disease scientist Lisa Stevens joins Pandoo Foundation as Health and Sanitation Program Manager in Cebu, Philippines, responsible for creating the foundation’s first health education program customized for children in developing countries.
The health program will be one of three new outreach initiatives piloted in the Philippines this year by Pandoo Foundation.
Pandoo Foundation is the non-profit sister organization of ShiftRunner Pte Ltd, the Singapore-based game developer behind Pandoo Nation, the first game platform for preteens that allows kids to convert game-play points into dollars to support causes in developing countries. One of those causes is health care education and risk prevention.
“Like everything Pandoo, it all starts with kids,” said Ms. Stevens. “Health and poverty are inextricably linked. Our program is designed to use health education as a risk prevention tool in developing countries, beginning with the Philippines. Leading causes of death in the provincial Philippines include things like tuberculosis, malaria, tooth infections, ectopic pregnancies and diarrhoea — afflictions that aren’t even on the radar in wealthier countries. Research shows that education is the best preventative tool, particularly if you can reach children and young mothers.”
With Ms Stevens, 27, ShiftRunner adds another specialized professional to its growing Pandoo Foundation team. One of three new outreach initiatives in Cebu, Pandoo Foundation’s health program will empower young people to adopt healthier lifestyles and living practices through engaging educational tools and workshops. The program signals another step towards the Foundation’s core mission objective which is to alleviate poverty in developing counties.
Ms. Stevens’ will build on the success of Pandoo Foundation’s literacy outreach program and relationships with local community leaders to create sustainable behavioral changes in and around Cebu.
Given its susceptibility to recurring natural disasters, especially typhoons, Cebu has a unique requirement for disease prevention and disaster-related education that Ms. Stevens will incorporate into kid-friendly workshops and manuals.
Ms. Stevens will work closely with Executive Director and President of Pandoo Foundation, François Perreault, and Philippine Country Manager, Geneviève Bisson, to develop a pilot summer camp health program that will be introduced in Cebu.
“Health is at the root of poverty,” said Mr. Perreault. “Pandoo Foundation is already proving that engaging kids in interactive education has a transformative effect on local communities. Lisa’s dedication to global health and her considerable expertise make her the ideal candidate for pioneering our program.”
Ms. Stevens studied diagnostic Microbiology and Molecular Pathology at the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand in 2010 and, in 2011, became a registered scientist with the New Zealand Medical Laboratory Scientist Board (NZMLSB).
Ms. Stevens’ joined Southern Community Laboratories, Healthscope Group, in 2010, where she participated in the analysis and diagnosis of infections and communicable diseases including the NZ Ministry of Health cervical cancer screening program.
In 2013, Ms. Stevens’ worked with global clinical research company Covance, to evaluate innovative new disease treatments in Asia, with specific focus on viral illnesses including HIV/AIDS and Hepatitis B and C. Furthering her study and fascination with global health, Ms. Steven’s began a Postgraduate Diploma Global Health of Infectious Diseases at University of Edinburgh in 2012.
Ms. Stevens’ is also a former professional athlete, representing New Zealand at the World Synchronized Figure Skating Championships, Croatia, in 2009. Ms. Stevens is a cross-fit enthusiast, a marathon runner and a triathlon competitor who continues to break personal records for sporting challenges across the world. Her next event: The Cebu City Marathon in January, 2016.