African chemists to use GC-MS expertise to solve local problems
Fifteen analytical chemists from across Africa are now proficient in both the practical and theoretical aspects of GC-MS, thanks to a week-long workshop in Ethiopia at the start of October.
The delegates included representatives from Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda, South Africa and Sudan. A mixture of early career researchers including PhD students, lecturers, and assistant professors, they have now returned to their home universities, where they will be applying their GC-MS skills to their work, as well as passing on their expertise to their colleagues.
From measuring contaminants in drinking water, to discovering the bioactive compounds in traditional herbal remedies, the newly-trained students and academics will be able to use their skills to make a real difference, tackling issues that millions living in sub-Saharan Africa face on a day-to-day basis.
Among the course facilitators were two local Ethiopian trainers, one of whom is already starting to roll out the course to regional universities across the rest of Ethiopia. By involving local trainers in this way, the project is already becoming self-sustaining.
The next GC-MS training course is taking place at the University of Lagos in November. Trainers will be attending from Kenya and the UK, and delegates will be coming from Nigeria, Sudan, Cameroon and Burkina Faso. This will mean that in 2016 the programme will have trained over 65 people in this crucial analytical technique.
Some of the trainers and trainees told us their personal stories and shared their views of the workshop.