Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Save Kumwenda at the University of Kwazulu Natal, South Africa

Save Kumwenda has just finished a 10 day training course in Laboratory Techniques at the University of Kwazulu Natal (UKZN) in South Africa.  Save is a CARTA PhD fellow cohort 3 from the University of Malawi.

Microscopic identification of ova
During the CARTA Joint Advanced Seminar held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania March 5 – 28, 2013, fellows discussed their PhD research topics together with their facilitators with a view to identifying gaps to be addressed. After sharing his topic, Save was fortunate to identify an area of improvement in his research.  He said “I identified that one of my major weaknesses was lack of practical skills in laboratory techniques especially helminth identification in ecological sanitation manure. It was then agreed with my supervisors that I attend a short course on the same before I start analyzing my samples.”  He needed to practically acquire laboratory skills in Helminth identification in ecological manure in order to progress seamlessly in his area of research.

Save Mixing Samples in the Laboratory
It was organized for Save to attend a 10 day short training course where he was to practically learn the skills while he analyzed his samples at the University of Kwazulu Natal under the able guidance of Professors Chris Buckly and Colleeen Archer.  The course started on April 7 – 14, 2014 and addressed key areas of description of parasites, types of parasites, how they can be identified, microscopic techniques and undertook a field visit to understand how sampling is done.

The whole training was fully funded by CARTA under Save’s CARTA PhD Fellowship. At the end of the course, Save had this to say “The training has been very useful to me especially considering that it was my first time to identify helminth ova. The design of the course was wonderful and the tutors were very excellent. Now I am very clear on what I am going to do on my PhD research. The skills I have learned will not only assist me in this research but will also assist me in more related research. I will also teach colleagues and laboratory staff at my home university engaged in similar research.”  He also expressed his gratitude to CARTA for funding received to undertake the course and UKZN staff, Colleen Archer, Val Kerry, Prof. Chris Buckley and Kerry Lee Philip for organizing the training and their efforts in making him a become a better researcher.  Save also paid glowing tribute to Dr Tracy Morse of University of Malawi for connecting him with Prof. Chris Buckley.


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