My name is Dr Margret Wambui Wahome, registered veterinary surgeon in Kenya. I came in contact with RUORUM through Dr Lucy Njagi, lecturer at University of Nairobi and she was the principal investigator of the project I did at Masters level by then.
While undertaking research for my master’s degree project titled: “Infectious bursal disease in indigenous village chicken, ducks and turkeys in Embu County, Kenya: Status; knowledge, attitudes and practices of value chain actors”, I designed the experimental methodology which involved collection of data using: 1. Structured questionnaire; in the process of ministering questionnaire, I gained experience in planning, programme management and improved my interpersonal communication skills made my interaction with the rural communities and project stakeholders easier; 2. Sero survey; this increased my skills in sample collection, field handling, laboratory processing using enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and laboratory biosafety measures. The data collected was analysed using R version 3.3.1 statistical package and this increased my knowledge in analytical and statistical data analysis.
Through this project, I was able to publish five scientific articles and this has improved my skills in scientific report writing.
RUFORUM gave me an opportunity to present at the 5th RUFORUM biennial conference held in Cape Town, South Africa, from the 14th – 22nd October 2016. This instilled confidence and sharpened my presentation and communication skills and it also fostered team work and collaboration. The conference also ingrained in me self-discipline which has lifted my ability to work in a multi-cultural, national and international environment with sensitivity and respect for diversity.
With the research skills and experience gained, I have been involved in research work with the ongoing infectious bursal disease Project at the Department of Veterinary Pathology, Microbiology and Parasitology at the University of Nairobi. Additionally, I was able to mentor and supervise other young scientists’ projects. Moreover, with these experiences I was able to secure a job as a lecturer at Kabarak University, School of Medicine and health Sciences, Department of Public Health and as a lecturer, I do teach, mentor and motivate young scientists.
I have taken part in community mobilization, development, capacity building and professional training on livestock enterprise as a business. I also work to ensure that animals’ health is maintained through correct diagnosis, treatment and prevention of diseases.
My goal is to increase productivity of food animals through research, ensuring their health is maintained, teaching animal health graduates and enlightening the society on how they can make the environment more habitable for them. Increasing productivity of these animals will ensure food and nutrition security subsequently uplifting physical, social, and economic wellbeing of human race and I also plan to enrich the scientific world by publishing papers and disseminating research findings in scientific conferences.
I hope that the RUORUM alumni network will help me to achieve my goals through providing training and guidance on grant application, publication of papers and provide information about the scientific conferences. Am grateful to RUORUM for fully sponsoring my Masters studies.