Since I was a medical student, I have always been strongly attracted to the intellectual discipline and practical implementation of research, particularly in a setting such as Malawi. Upon completion of my medical school training, I joined the Malawi Liverpool Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Programme, where I was involved in several clinical studies in paediatric infectious diseases. This is where I developed a strong passion to pursue a career in clinical infectious diseases research. However, for one to pursue this career, one needs to have very strong epidemiological research and statistical skills. Coming for a clinical background, I realised that my current skills and qualifications were inadequate in this respect. Therefore, I wanted to pursue the MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (LSHTM). The course is an internationally recognised postgraduate qualification in epidemiology and considered to be among the best epidemiology courses in the world. Becoming a clinical epidemiologist coupled with clinical specialist training in paediatrics, has put me in an ideal position to conduct high quality clinical and epidemiological research in children in Malawi.
I am currently working as the Senior Pneumonia Programmes Manager for the Parent and Child Health Initiative (PACHI) Trust, a local Malawian Non Governmental Organization working in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (Malawi) and the University College London, which aims at influencing health policy, improve health service delivery and community participation in maternal and child health through the use of evidence based interventions and operational research. I am currently overseeing the implementation of three pneumonia research projects funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, namely:
- A Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV) Effectiveness Study
- Development of a District Paediatric Health Information System in seven districts.
- Pneumonia Prognostic Algorithm Development study
My career goal is to become a clinical epidemiologist, specializing in acute respiratory infections children. My passion is to become a lead researcher in paediatric infectious diseases epidemiology in Malawi. I would like to become a local and regional expert in childhood pneumonia related research in Malawi and Africa