Three Malawi’s College of Medicine (CoM) students represented the country at the 23rd International Students Congress for BioMedical Sciences and the International Research Fellowship held from 7th to 24th June in Netherlands.
CoM Students Joseph Mkandawire, Richard Kamwezi and Yohane Gadama carried Malawi’s flag at the event held under the motto “Science beyond Borders”, ISCOMS at the University of Groningen, Netherlands.
The event brought together over 500 young top researchers from over 50 countries to share their biomedical research findings.
The conference is also a platform for young researchers to network, learn from experienced leading researchers, and to prepare them for postgraduate studies. One of this year’s key speakers was Professor Stephan Hell, who received his Chemistry Nobel Prize in 2015.
The three who just finished their medical degree studies presented on topics of HIV medication adherence in adolescents and the use of shunts in the correction of hydrocephalous (or brain swelling).
One of the presentations tackled the importance of prescribing a minimum number of Anteretrovirals (ARVs) pills in adolescents in order to avoid pill burden and encourage the taking of the medications, while the other illustrated the equal significance of different methods of correcting brain swelling.
The three did research in partial fulfillment of their degrees in medicine and surgery and were torch bearers for Malawi and Africa.
“As much as we disseminated our results internationally, dissemination does not always have to be at international forums. Like charity that begins at home, it starts with sharing with the people where research was done. After all that is where the results are most needed for policy making and action,’ said Mkandawire.
Asked how the going has been for them to reach Netherlands, Richard Kamwezi pointed out that it never was easy.
“This is to a greater extent a product of hard work, from the research project itself, the application, to the fundraising. We kept on working hard and networking with others like Partners in Health, Norwegian Embassy, Baylor Pediatric Aids initiative and Malawi-Liverpool Wellcome Trust,” said Kamwezi.
Yohane Gadama who also attended a research fellowship pointed out the importance of support in undergraduate research.
“We are privileged that College of Medicine offers priceless training in undergraduate research and that allowed us to just build on that knowledge during the conference. Learning about critical research paper reading helped me fully understand that not every research has the same significance”.
The next biomedical conference will be in June 2017 and it is open to anyone with or without an original research or report.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :