GSK supports 35 scholarships to address gap in medical statistics training in Africa

students doing group work during ICEMS
Students doing group work during ICEMS

From 6 November to 1 December, the Medical Research Council Unit The Gambia at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (MRCG at LSHTM) held two in-person short courses to help researchers in the region upskill in medical statistics.

These two courses were the 3-week Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics (ICEMS) and the 1-week Essentials in Clinical Trials (ECT).

Professor Annette Erhart and Associate Professor Nuredin Mohammed teaching Essential Clinical Trials cohort
Associate Professor Annette Erhart and Associate Professor Nuredin Mohammed teaching the Essential Clinical Trials cohort

GSK generously provided 35 full scholarships for students from sub-Saharan Africa to access these courses, enabling emerging clinicians and researchers across 20 sub-Saharan African countries to take part.

One of the scholarship recipients for the Introductory Course in Epidemiology and Medical Statistics is Mohammed Mukhtar Ali, a consultant in Social and Behavioural Change for UNICEF in Somalia.

“The skills acquired through this course have significantly enhanced my contributions at WHO Somalia, particularly in the areas of routine immunisation and vaccine-preventable diseases surveillance. I am thrilled to share that I am now leading my first research project, and this accomplishment wouldn't have been possible without the support provided by GSK.”

Nancy Hapiness Nyang’anyi, a study clinician in Kenya, completed the Essentials in Clinical Trials short course through a GSK Scholarship.

This opportunity to expand my comprehension of clinical trials will undoubtedly contribute to the progression of medical research and, consequently, the enhancement of patient outcomes. In addition to financial assistance, GSK's support has provided me with the motivation that will continue to inspire me throughout my professional journey. I am truly grateful for the investment in my professional development and for their unwavering commitment to the advancement of healthcare.

ICEMS cohort
ICEMS cohort

Another student who benefitted from GSK’s support is Olufunmilola Mankanjuola, a Senior Lecturer based at the University of Ibadan in Nigeria.

“Having ICEMS at the MRC Unit The Gambia, in Africa, made the course very accessible to us as African researchers. An impressive selection of experts taught and facilitated the various lectures and practical sessions using very relatable and easy-to-understand methods. The sessions, though intensive, have been very rewarding and this course has surpassed my expectations. I am better equipped to apply statistical methods in designing, conducting and analysing epidemiological questions.

It has also been a great opportunity to interact with other African researchers and build networks for successful collaborations. I am very grateful to GSK for supporting my attendance of this impactful course.”

Olufunmilola Mankanjuola, Senior Lecturer based at University of Ibadan in Nigeria

GSK also supports the ‘GSK Scholarships for Future Health Leaders’ at LSHTM enabling future leaders from sub-Saharan Africa to complete a Masters degree in London.

We are incredibly grateful of GSK’s support of capacity building in Africa through their partnership with LSHTM and MRCG.

Find out more on students’ experience of ICEMS