In December 2022, Edson Marambire, ERASE-TB Study Co-ordinator and LMU PhD student, returned to Zimbabwe after his intensive three-month residential PhD training at LMU, Munich. ERASE-TB is fortunate in that EDCTP makes capacity building a priority in all projects.
Below, Edson recounts his fruitful and enjoyable trip:
"My PhD is on Medical Research and International Health at LMU Munich University. It is a hybrid program with mandatory modular classes and research work. My research will be on Household TB infection and community transmission and will be embedded within the ERASE-TB study. During the block module, I successfully presented my PhD research plans and sailed through without any amendments!
On the personal side, I really enjoyed the blending of scheduled courses which included epidemiology and quantitative methods. I am finding them very useful as they are sharpening my data analysis skills for my planned research work. We had excellent sessions on global health where we discussed deep issues affecting disease trends, prevention, management and common challenges being faced by LMICs. We also had some time to connect with fellow students who came from other parts of Africa and Asia
On the social side, I can say that I really enjoyed the German streets, always with welcoming citizens. We started with having some fun exactly on our first day in Munich when we went to the October festival. On the 8th of October, as a class, we had a guided tour of Munich city where we visited many heritage sites, prominent business places and parks. In the second week of October, we had a 2-day trip to Plankstetten Monastery, which is 114km northeast of Munich. It was a nice experience in the hands of a tour guide and we also had a lecture on intercultural communications. On weekends, I usually had a few hours of navigating through the popular marketplaces in Munich, including shopping malls and the Christmas markets. Outside Munich, I once took a trip to Berlin.
I took some time away from the busy class schedules in December when I visited Bristol, giving me another opportunity to meet some amazing peers from Bristol University. There, I presented on our health-worker occupation health project, with data from occupational health screening in >6000 healthcare workers in Zimbabwe. We implemented this study in Zimbabwe during the Covid-19 period.
I will end by mentioning an experience of very low temperatures and snow, something which we can never see in Africa!"