(L-R) Dr Ignatius Wanyonyi, runners-up poster presentation, Dr Nancy Kamau, winner poster presentation, Dr Faraj Alkizim runners-up oral presentation and Dr Allan Tulienge overall winner oral presentation.
Early-career researchers are encouraged to develop a culture of mentorship which is crucial towards the success of their career development. In the long run, this will enable them reach their full potential and help them create and disseminate new knowledge in research.
The call was made during the 5th annual Early-Career Health Researchers’ Symposium organised by Aga Khan University (AKU) under the theme, “Integrating ethical research into practice and policy.”
During his keynote address, Prof Akbar Waljee, Professor of Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine, University of Michigan said that mentorship plays a critical role in the training and career development of future researchers which can lead to improved quality of clinical care in resource-limited settings.
“Mentorship is aimed at helping both the mentee and the mentor. As a sponsor, a mentor provides opportunities for visibility and advancement for the mentee. As a connector, the mentor creates networks to leverage organizational dynamics and strengths for the mentee,” said Prof Waljee.
The symposium brought together early-career health scientists to provide them with a platform to showcase their work, network with their peers and senior researchers from other academic and research institutions.
Dr Mwikali Ndolo, a Consultant Radiologist based in Alabama, USA and an AKU alumna said, “Mentorship is very crucial during your research work. You need someone to hold your hand and guide you on the right path. A trusted mentor has a way of pushing you beyond your perceived limits.”
The symposium received a total of 67 abstracts from AKU, various institutions of higher learning and research institutions across the East African region.
Dr Shahin Sayed, Chair of the Symposium Organising Committee and Chair of the Department of Pathology, Medical College, East Africa said that every research journey begins with the curious mind that asks questions, looks for answers, innovates, and implements while being cognizant of the ethical implications of the research in the community and the environment.
“The COVID-19 pandemic exemplifies the important role of research in propelling humanity forward; the accelerated pace of research into novel vaccine development and its subsequent roll out has avoided what could have easily become a major global catastrophe in living memory,” said Dr Sayed.
Dr Allan Tulienge from Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology emerged as the overall winner during the oral presentation while Dr Faraj Alkizim from the Centres for Health and Education Programmes taking the runners-up position.
Dr Nancy Kamau and Dr Ignatius Wanyonyi both from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology emerged as the overall winner and runners-up respectively during the poster presentation.