Our Students

Jacinta Okeakpu

Course: 
Infectious Diseases - Distance Learning
School: 
LSHTM
Type of Course: 
Distance learning course
Nationality: 
Gambian

My background in medical microbiology and a first-hand experience in a rural-urban community of Nigeria, where I grew up, have afforded me the opportunity to see the impact of improper laboratory diagnosis of diseases and wrong assumptions of causation ailments, on the health of the community. Seizures and high temperatures in children were attributed to attacks by the evil spirits to the extent that such children were left to suffer severe health outcomes which were sometimes fatal. These spurred a strong desire in me to pursue a career in infectious diseases.

Working for more than half a decade in a medical research setting as a Scientist, I have been privileged to be involved in various research projects related to infectious diseases such as meningitis, pneumoniae and enteric pathogens. This platform has allowed me to acquire sound skills in microbial culture and detection through conventional and molecular methods using tools such as polymerase chain reaction, serology, and biochemical methods. Having been equipped with these skills and with my background experiences, I believe it is time to pursue my dream in research in infectious diseases to a higher level, beginning from a master’s degree.

Undertaking an MSc in Infectious Diseases would provide me with significant knowledge required to understand the principles and concepts related to infectious diseases, how available control tools can be applied to mitigate the menace of pathogenic agents and importantly, develop new and alternative control strategies. This important training would avail me the opportunity required to commence critical evaluation of any given situation as a Scientist. Beyond this, I will be able to ask appropriate research question that will provide answers to many health challenges in Africa, which is already being ravaged with several communicable diseases.

I remain very much indebted to African London Nagasaki (ALN) scholarship award scheme for making my dream a reality. It is a privilege to be studying at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicines, a highly prestigious University with experts at various fields. Thank you so much for supporting us African students.