Our Students

Bassirou Diarra

Master of Tropical Medicine (MTM) - Nagasaki
Type of Course: 
Residential course

It was my ultimate aim to continue working with other colleagues in looking for solution to infectious diseases of public health importance.  Although I had a background in medicine and have gained specific laboratory-related experiences and working background knowledge in Tuberculosis diagnosis, I was keenly aware of gaps in my knowledge base of infectious diseases.  However, due to my strong interest, combination of qualities and a determination to succeed, I was convinced that if backed by sound education I’ll play a more productive role to the success of any team, in improving existing control methods and developing novel ones, particularly in a resource limited setting such as Mali.

To reach this goal, it was necessary for me to fill in the gaps in my knowledge base by understanding better, how infectious agents interact with themselves, the host, and underlying control mechanisms involved during such interaction. This was why I applied for this program at Nagasaki University in Japan.

Many parts of Africa are under developed with poor resources and require improved diagnosis both in the clinic and the laboratory. An example is my country, Mali, where the national control programs are overwhelmed by various infectious diseases and are continually looking for strategies to better manage and control these infections. Therefore, by drawing on the knowledge and skills that I acquire, I’ll be able to work collaboratively with others in developing novel ways for control of such infections. Upon successful completion of the master I returned home and re-started working in my previous institute.

Now I’m leading the Tuberculosis unit at SEREFO (HIV and TB research center) at the university of Sciences, techniques and technologies of Bamako. This center is unique in Mali for accurate TB diagnosis, DST and strain typing. Our focus in MRD-TB patients and their follow up. My immediate task upon my return was to share my knowledge, by transferring the skills gained to other members of my home institution and also to interested students. Now I’m assisting directly or indirectly in making recommendations to policy-makers for improving health care. Thereafter I will also looking for opportunities to complete my training with a PhD program. This will be very important for an academic position at my home University.