Richard Kamwezi, a trainee of MLW, has recently been awarded a Master of Science degree in Epidemiology from the prestigious London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His achievement adds to the list of Malawian trainees who have benefited from MLW’s initiative to develop the next generation of researchers.
In 2020, Richard Kamwezi joined the Malaria Epidemiology research group under the KUHeS-MLW pre-masters internship program, which offers promising candidates the opportunity to enhance their research skills while providing guidance and support in applying for post-graduate opportunities. During his internship, he worked on a simulation study that aimed to explore the effect of changing survey locations on malaria prevalence estimates in malaria surveys. His work was supervised by Dr. Michelle Stanton and Dr. Anja Terlouw. While working on the project, he applied for and secured admission to the Master of Science in Epidemiology program at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
The MSc Epidemiology at LSHTM equips students with knowledge in epidemiology and quantitative research in the context of disease surveillance and control and the management of disease control programs. During his studies, Richard was exposed to general aspects of quantitative research, such as the analysis of data for observational studies and clinical trials. Additionally, he went through some modules that exposed him to specialized techniques like the epidemiological analysis of -omics data and spatial epidemiology.
Richard shared, “Graduating from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine is an exciting achievement. LSHTM is one of the top schools in public health and quantitative research. It is also exciting to share an alma mater with the WHO Director-General who also happened to give a keynote speech at the graduation ceremony. Studying at LSHTM also improved my prospects for other opportunities as I was able to secure an MRC-funded studentship midway through my studies. Overall, it was a great experience and I thank my mentors and the Training and Development Committee at MLW for the support they offered me as a junior researcher. Studying at LSHTM was beyond my wildest dreams, but the encouragement from Dr. Anja Terlouw, Dr. Kondwani Jambo, and other senior researchers made it possible.
I was also encouraged and challenged by the progress and support of fellow trainees. Overall, MLW created an enabling environment that allowed me to attain this milestone.”
Currently, Richard is studying for a Ph.D. in Statistics and Epidemiology at Lancaster University, where he is focusing on developing new analytical methods for malaria antibody data in the context of decreasing malaria transmission. His vision is to become a champion of the early adoption of malaria zero surveillance in Malawi as the country moves towards the elimination of the disease.
We rejoice in your success, Richard!