London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine Work Experience

This week I travelled down to London on the train and stayed there for a few days, visiting some of my old friends from Malawi. I’d never been by myself before, so it was a really good experience for me to learn how to use the buses and tubes to get around which I really enjoyed. 

A few weeks ago I got in touch with Alan Dangour, the head of nutrition at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM), and organised to spend a day there with him. I arrived this morning and I was amazed by how big the building was and how new and modern it looked inside. I met Alan and he explained a bit about what he does and what happens at the LSHTM. 

I told him I was interested in learning more about malaria so he gave me some malaria research papers and asked me to read through and summarise them. There was a systematic review and meta-analysis about socio-economic development as an intervention against malaria which I thought was really interesting. I went through and highlighted important points, then made a powerpoint presentation about the methods used, their findings and a conclusion. 

It taught me about the way research is carried out and about how to use papers. It was quite confusing to interpret the results at first because I’d never looked at odds ratios before, but I enjoyed learning how to use them. 

Later we watched people give presentations about a few different topics that groups had been researching which were really fascinating. They ranged from smoking, back pain and alcohol to how cycling fatalities are reported on by the media. After lunch I presented the powerpoint which I had put together about how socio-economic development can be an intervention against malaria, and answered some questions about what I’d learned, which was a really good chance to practice my public speaking and communication skills. 

I really enjoyed the whole day; it was such a great opportunity to gain an insight into medical research and into what it’s like to work at the LSHTM, and I’d like to thank Alan for  giving up his time for me.