The pride of being a Research Assistant under LAMRN Zambia
Working as a Research Assistant under Lugina Africa Midwives Research Network (LAMRN) has been a life changing experience. It all started when I received an acceptance letter having successfully attended the job interview. I received an invitation letter and a return air ticket for my first research methodology training at The University of Manchester, which meant getting on a plane for the first time in my life!
The training and mentorship I received was outstanding. I had an opportunity to interact with world-class scholars and researchers whose humility left me speechless and humbled. Through this initial training and exposure, I was able to gain key research knowledge, competencies, courage and confidence to interact with people from diverse walks of life. The research experience has been tremendous having risen from studying the protocol, data collection, translation, transcribing and data management. Indeed, my journey has seen me through great transformation and knowledge acquisition.
Currently, I am capable of engaging with health workers as well as with communities on issues relating to stillbirth. Given the silence and cultural beliefs attached to stillbirth, LAMRN Country Leads from Zambia, Kenya and the UK have provided me with the tools that have helped me engage in this sensitive field of research. Today, I am able to conduct key in-depth interviews with desired precision and professionalism. The sky will never be the limit in this undertaking.
Last year, LAMRN Zambia attended the International Day of the Midwife conference, which was held in Mansa (Luapala Province), the site in which the research on stillbirth was conducted. With confidence I presented the initial research findings and replied to questions raised by the audience. As the world cerebrates 2020 as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife, I dream and desire that LAMRN Zambia will cascade our learning about stillbirth to all parts of Zambia where nurses and midwives work amidst minimal research support and mentorship.
I am very grateful to LAMRN and the NIHR Global Health Research Group on Stillbirth Prevention and Management in Sub-Saharan Africa for the opportunity given to me to be part of this great team and to generate evidence-based research findings.
By Tuwele Khuzuet, RA, Mansa-Zambia.