“When I started university, I thought I’ll go there and after three years, I will be working — only to be fascinated by the world of science, curiosity and discovery,” says Valentine Saasa.
Saasa’s research focuses on ways of diagnosing diseases using only the human breath. Early detection of lung cancer and management of diabetes mellitus without needles aren’t her only research priority: Saasa aims to apply her findings to make medical tests affordable for low-income households.
Saasa founded a nonprofit organisation called Capricorn Education Resource Centre, which helps learners from disadvantaged communities access tertiary education, aiming to help cultivate the next generation of young scientists. Sassa says her proudest moment was whern she found out that a girl she had mentored went on to study in the same field. “I’m proud that I’ve been the right representation to girls from the same rural areas as me,” she says.
“If I can do it, or if Sir Newton can do it, you can also do it. We are all human, like you.”