Supporting the COVID-19 relief effort in Rwanda

Over the last year, our students and staff have played a vital role in the COVID-19 response, through research, volunteering and community support.
Patrick in a laboratory testing COVID-19 using PCR tests

Meet Patrick, one of our Clinical Trials by Distance Learning students who also works at the Rwanda Food and Drugs Authority. During the pandemic, Patrick was involved in cleansing governmental data to help inform policy and was a member of the Rwanda COVID-19 Joint Task Force in laboratory testing.

"In late October, I joined the volunteering team contributing to cleaning and checking the incoming weekly governmental data based on updated actions to control the spread of the pandemic. The database was an initiative from LSHTM and WHO to inform policy. A few days before joining, I was part of a joint collaborative effort to publish the knowledge, attitude, and practice of people living with HIV towards COVID-19 in Springer Nature's Journal of Community Health.

As a student starting in the first year at LSHTM through distance learning, I had to balance my interest in volunteering with my publication interest, study plan, and job responsibilities. I had the aim to push myself as far as I can contribute to reducing the spread of COVID-19. As a member of the COVID-19 Joint task force in laboratory testing, I have also had the opportunity to collaborate with researchers in documenting Rwanda's experience in scaling up laboratory testing. All those opportunities provided me with unique means for learning and professional development. Although this pandemic has driven us up a wall somehow, I am grateful for the little support I contribute to the community.

Towards the conclusion, as vaccine enrolment continues globally, the hope for overcoming the problems caused by COVID-19 is rising widely. This is the best time to stay focused on authentic news, especially about the COVID-19 vaccine. Let us not undermine the efforts of health experts and join efforts to end this pandemic together."