Dr Ruth Chunge

Dr Ruth Chunge was born in India where she spent her early childhood. She graduated with a BSc in Zoology from University College, Galway, Ireland, in 1977. She then spent one and a half years in Nigeria working as a secondary school teacher and it was there that she developed an interest in parasitic infections. After working as a zoologist in Ireland for a year she joined the 1980 MSc Medical Parasitology class in the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK, where she met her classmate and future husband, Dr Charles Chunge. In 1982 she joined him in Kenya and was employed as a lecturer in the Medical Training College where she taught Parasitology and Medical Entomology to trainee laboratory technologists.

In 1983 she joined the Kenya Medical Research Institute as a Research Officer and for several years, up to 1992, carried out research on a range of parasitological topics, specializing in studies of intestinal protozoa in rural communities. During this period she was appointed an Honorary Lecturer at the University of Nairobi's College of Health Sciences and lectured in parasitology to medical and pharmacy students, nurses and laboratory technologists. She was awarded her PhD from University College, Galway, Ireland in 1989, for her longitudinal studies of giardiasis in young Kenyan children.

During their brief period in Canada from 1989 to 1990 she worked as a consultant parasitologist for a public health department. Back in Nairobi she spent four years, 1993 to 1996, working as a Programme Officer for the IUCN African Elephant Specialist Group before joining Dr Charles Chunge in developing the laboratory section at the Centre for Tropical and Travel Medicine. As well as overseeing the diagnostic services she is in charge of all the administrative functions of the centre. She also continues to lecture, participate in projects and work as a consultant in Nairobi and elsewhere when requested.