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|Assignment(s):||chief medical officer|
Elijah Katanga was born on February 30, 2288 in Maputo in the African Confederation on Earth. He was born to Maria Katanga, a local school teacher and Kofi Katanga who spent most of his adult life as a Starfleet enlisted man, reaching the rank of master chief petty officer before retiring.
Elijah took from his father his desire to see the stars and signed up for Starfleet but deciding to go the enlisted route as well instead of spending four years at Starfleet Academy to become an officer.
Katanga signed up with a preferred specialization in medicine even though he later admitted that he had considered this decision to be mostly arbitrary this early in his career and assumed he would change specializations at a later point.
He joined a Starfleet Basic Training facility in Johannesburg in 2306, a day after his eighteenth birthday, and graduated Crewman Third Class with training in first aid medicine later that same year. He was assigned as a corpsman recruit to the USS Andor.
During the next few years, Katanga began to realize that he greatly enjoyed working in the medical field, especially when getting a chance to help treat alien races and getting to know their physiologies. He made the decision to continue in the medical field and successfully completed his training as a medical technician on the Andor in 2309.
Katanga saw an opportunity in advancing his career in 2325 when he was offered the deputy chief medical position on the medical ship USS Hippocrates. He replaced the retiring CMO on that ship three years later.
From the early days as a medical doctor, Katanga had the desire to create a dedicated agency within Starfleet that would use its resources to send medicine and Starfleet medical personnel to planets facing health emergencies and regardless of their affiliation but within the framework of the Prime Directive .
Along with his close personal friend Doctor Dezwin Sigus (later Star) and other personnel from the Hippocrates, he formerly presented this idea to Starfleet Medical and Starfleet Command in 2328 but Starfleet would not agree to the program until a year later.
Katanga initially ran the fledging agency along with Sigus from the Hippocrates which was used as the Medical Assistance and Advisory Program’s (MAAP) primary vessel. After a number of initial successes, Starfleet agreed to expand the program and headquarters were set up at a Starfleet Medical facility in Atlanta on Earth. However Katanga refused an offer to lead the agency from Earth and instead remained on the Hippocrates in order continue to practice medicine.
Katanga remained active with MAAP for the rest of his Starfleet career even if he constantly sought out new challenges. He served as chief medical officer on the USS Ambassador and USS Hathaway, served as head researcher for the Disease Control and Prevention Department on Starbase 1 where would later become the chief medical officer of Starfleet’s largest medical installation. He spent two years as a tutor at Starfleet Medical Academy and has been awarded with three Carrington Awards including a lifetime achievement award.
In 2357 at the age of sixty-nine and after having earned a near legendary reputation within Starfleet Medical and helping install many regulations and practices to make Starfleet’s medical efforts more efficient, he finally accepted leadership of MAAP, the agency he helped create.
Over the following decade, Katanga significantly reduced his active participation in MAAP missions and instead focused on administrating the agency which had grown to become one of Starfleet Medical’s largest. He also took on the role of mentoring young doctors including Ashley Wenera when she joined MAAP in 2368 and he developed a particular fondness for the eager young physician.
In 2375 Katanga agreed to Wenera’s request to take over her position as chief medical officer on the USS Eagle when she stepped down for personal reasons.