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Research taster at CMNH - Reflection

My name is Emily Rosa and I am a medical student from the University of Birmingham(link is external). I have just finished my third year of medical school and during my time at University I have developed a particular interest in maternal health in low and middle income countries, as it is in these countries that the vast majority of maternal deaths occur. 

In September, I will taking a year out of my medical degree to carry out a research project to deepen my understanding in the area of public health.  As carrying out scientific research is a daunting prospect for many medical students, spending a few weeks at the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine this summer seemed the perfect way to prepare.

I was warmly welcomed into the department by Dr Charles Ameh who is deputy head of department, and he introduced me to the rest of the team in the CMNH. Everyone was very keen to help me gain an understanding of how the department works and I had the opportunity to meet with different staff members and learn about their various roles and specialist interest areas.

During my time at the CMNH, I had the opportunity to do practical aspects of research. I worked under the supervision of Dr Charles Ameh on a project assessing the usefulness of a new a mobile phone application which has been developed by the Universities of Southern Denmark and Copenhagen(link is external).

The application is targeted towards healthcare professionals and contains remedial information about safe delivery techniques and how to manage obstetric emergencies.

A Survey has been conducted by CMNH assessing the feasibility of this application for healthcare professionals in Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone. My task was to create a database for all the responses and to carry out the statistical analysis on these initial results. I was delighted to be able to complete the task set out for me and am pleased Dr Charles Ameh will be presenting my analysis of these results at the Danish Consulate in Nairobi(link is external) at the end of August. Whilst completing the task, I learned a lot about the issues that researchers have with interpreting data collected, learnt how to clean data which has been gathered making it suitable for analysis and became much more proficient at using Microsoft Excel.

I would like to thank CMNH for hosting me, especially to Dr Charles Ameh for supervising my work on the Safe Delivery Application. As a medical student, it is easy to get used to being told that people are too busy to help you take on extra-curricular work like this, so receiving such a friendly welcome came as a pleasant surprise! I feel proud to have been a part of the life-changing research which happens at CMNH and would love to come back in the future!