As part of their Schools Engagement Program, nine colleagues in Tanzania visited Loleza Girls Secondary School, Mbeya, on October 28th, 2022, to present information on ERASE-TB, raise lung health awareness and promote scientific thinking and education among the young people.
Looks like too much fun being had at Loleza School!
This was a very well-attended event with ten teachers and over 600 students! The session began with Dr Lilian Tina Minja introducing the NIMR research centre and their research. Dr Alfred Mfinanga followed next with a highly interactive session designed to assess the students’ level of understanding of TB. Students were first asked the question “What is tuberculosis?” which caught their attention with many raising their hands and demonstrating their interest and their keenness to learn more about TB of which they had some basic knowledge.
The next session focused on the ERASE-TB study where students were told how the study operates, its key objectives, the target population etc. This prompted some of the students to voice their interest in pursuing a career in scientific research in the future; inspiring the next generation of researchers is one of the study's key aims so this was wonderful to hear and the team's continued engagement with the students will hopefully inspire them further.
The concluding Q&A session provoked many interesting questions from the students, such how to distinguish between TB symptoms and Covid-19 symptoms; should couples stay separately if one is sick; and how to care for co-infected patients, be that TB and HIV or TB and Covid-19. Excellent feedback on the event was received from both students and teachers over refreshments, and it has been agreed that this event will be repeated again in the near future.
Congratulations to our ERASE-TB colleagues in Mbeya on this highly successful event which is an inspiring example of community engagement, a key deliverable of the study.