James Kang'ethe, a PhD scholar in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Nairobi, recently attended the African Advanced Vaccinology Course (Afro-ADVAC) held in Muldersdrift, Gauteng, South Africa. James, a CARTA cohort 10 fellow, participated in the course between April 17 - 26, 2023.
The Afro-ADVAC is a senior-level course aimed at developing vaccinology expertise across Africa, fostering research collaboration, and informing decision-making by key professional bodies on immunization practices and policies in the continent. The course is delivered by the African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE) based at the University of Witwatersrand.
The course brought together scientists, clinicians, public health officials, and policymakers from across Africa to discuss the latest developments and challenges in vaccinology. James had the opportunity to learn from and interact with leading experts in the field, including some of the world's foremost vaccinologists.
James found the course to be an enriching experience, stating that "Afro-ADVAC has been an eye-opener for me. The course content was well-designed and covered different aspects of vaccinology, from vaccine design to implementation. The interactive sessions and group discussions were engaging and thought-provoking. I am excited to take back what I have learned to my research work and share it with my colleagues and students."
The course covered a broad range of topics, including vaccinology history, immunology, vaccine research and development, clinical trials, regulatory affairs, and vaccine implementation. James particularly enjoyed the session on vaccinology in low-resource settings, where he learned about the challenges and opportunities of vaccinating populations with limited access to healthcare.
James also had the opportunity to network with other participants from across the continent, exchanging ideas and experiences in vaccinology research and implementation.
The skills and knowledge gained by James at Afro-ADVAC will be instrumental in his research work in medical microbiology and immunology. His participation in the course highlights the importance of continued professional development for scientists and researchers in Africa, especially in the field of vaccinology.
Overall, the Afro-ADVAC provided James with a unique opportunity to learn from and interact with leading experts in vaccinology, network with peers from across Africa, and gain valuable insights into the latest developments and challenges in the field. His participation in the course is a testament to his commitment to advancing vaccinology research and implementation in Africa.
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