A global network of researchers

Grant provides networking opportunities for TB and gender researcher

By Sangita Shrestha | June 2, 2016  |

Guest post from an AuthorAID travel grant recipient

- Kingsley Nnanna Ukwaja, Senior Resident Physician, Department of Internal Medicine, Federal Teaching Hospital, Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, Nigeria.

I was very glad to present my poster, “Investigating gender differences in the profile and treatment outcomes of tuberculosis (TB) in Ebonyi State, Nigeria: implications for TB control” at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Cape Town, South Africa, from 2-6 December 2015. I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to INASP for awarding me an AuthorAID travel grant that made this possible for me.

The conference brought together over 4,000 academics, experts, and leaders from throughout the world. I feel very privileged to have been a part of this excellent scientific gathering. The AuthorAID grant came after I had lost all hope of attending this conference having been turned down by four different funding sources.

Our group presented five posters during the conference. I was privileged to present three of them.

Attending this conference offered me the opportunity not only to do a presentation but to also meet researchers in my area of interest. The poster sessions were organized in themes. My poster session was very engaging and fruitful as we discussed issues such as what specific gender differences occur with TB and whether gender affects treatment outcomes of patients. We also discussed issues around gender and TB in pregnant women – particularly its effects on the disease presentation, treatment, outcomes and its transmission to the unborn child.

The plenary lectures, scientific sessions, and interactions with other scientists has inspired new areas of research for me, particularly the role of mental health in TB and whether this affects outcomes of patients. I hope to explore if these mental health issues differ by gender. We are also working on research collaborations with other scientists, which are gradually taking shape.

Apart from this conference being very successful, I was able to appreciate the Table Mountains of Cape Town. I am using other knowledge gained – particularly the programmatic management of drug-resistant TB in my practice - and sharing it with colleagues in Nigeria. Many thanks once again AuthorAID/INASP for the travel grant.


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