Co-authored by Shawna O’Hearn, Director, Global Health Office and Dr. John LeBlanc, Faculty Advisor, Global Health Office
Our team focused on two weeks of MicroResearch training with a diverse group of health professionals in Ifakara.
The two week MicroResearch training program focused on key skills in developing a research proposal. Some topics included
- grant proposal development and management
- avoid pitfalls in research
- research ethics
- research manuscript development
- avoid pitfalls in presentations including abstracts
- technical report writing
- knowledge translation and policy development
- time and resource management
- community engagement
- curriculum vitae development
The Workshop had two different groups of participants. Twelve students taking a Masters in Public Health at the Catholic University of Health and Allied Sciences (CUHAS) (Bugando – Mwanza, Tanzania) and one coach were sponsored by the University of Calgary to participate in the MicroResearch Training Workshop. These participants were far from their home campus and housed at TTCIH for the workshop and were able to work on their proposals full time. This is the first time for this type of opportunity. In contrast, the other 26 participants were local to Ifakara and came from TTCIH, Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), St Francis University College of Health and Allied Science (SFUCHAS), and Saint Francis Designated District Hospital.
The students came from from a wide range of disciplines including professionals from medicine (paediatrics, orthopedics, surgery, family medicine), nursing, social workers, psychology, public health, library sciences, health research, laboratory medicine, biostatistics, computer science and engineering
The students were divided into 6 groups, two from CUHAS and four from Ifakara. Each group had 5 to 7 participants that included a range of professional disciplines. Many members had not met or worked with each other previously. The collaboration started with discussion of the research questions put forward by each member of the group. The research questions were based on their own experience and guided by the lecture: “How to develop a research question”. The group discussed the merits of each question and selected one to work on as their team project. A spokesperson for each group then presented the list of topics to the entire class and noted the one selected by the group and the rationale for its selection.
A distinguished panel of judges participated in deciding on the best presentation: Prof Cassian Margori, Principal of St Francis University College of Health and Allied Sciences; Dr Senga Pemba, Director, Tanzanian Training Centre for International Health (Ifakara); and Dr Angelo Nyamtema, Medical Director, Saint Francis Designated District Hospital (Ifakara).
There were two awards: one for the two groups from CUHAS and one for the four groups from Ifakara.
Group Winner: CUHAS Group 1
Title: What should be done to increase male involvement in Reproductive and Child Heath Clinics in Kigoma Municipal?
Group Winner : Ifakara Group 5
Title: Can the use of mobile phones improve antenatal clinic attendance?
The judges were impressed by the accomplishments from all six groups in the two weeks and by the care taken in the presentations. They recommended that all six groups proceed to develop full proposals for submission for a MicroResearch grant. They recommended that all review their question to refine further and then ensure that the objectives well matched the question. They noted that all six studies were important, relevant and well chosen.
Are you interested in getting involved? Do you want to learn more about the partnership taking place in Tanzania? Contact the Global Health Office