Journey from Africa is a Multifaceted Lesson in Goodwill and Western Science
Three-month training project is part of a five-year national initiative to fight global HIV/AIDS
MDC’s Rosa Castro, an assistant professor of clinical laboratory technology (center, in multi-colored scrubs) works with Maria Rabello (the students’ tutor and translator); and student biologists from Mozambique, Martins Muloiua and Isabel Pinto.
Miami, November 25, 2008 - Often times in business, partnerships form the most powerful alliances and produce very lucrative results. In education, partnerships are no different because the results produce the best and brightest students who can make a difference in the world.
One such example is Miami Dade College’s (MDC) recent collaboration with the Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and the University of Miami, to offer 12 students from Eduardo Mondlane University in Mozambique, the chance to learn new techniques that will equip them with the skills to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in their homeland.
The Biologist Teaching and Training Project at the Medical Center Campus is a customized 13-week educational experience, designed to address the clinical laboratory needs of international areas hit hardest by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
”The curriculum is designed to address the clinical needs of scientists who live in areas that are suffering the greatest impact of the epidemic,” said John Solomon, MDC’s allied health department chair.
Solomon, who oversees the project at the Medical Center Campus, says because of Africa’s grim HIV/AIDS statistics, having viable resources is crucial. “Having a skillful team who can provide adequate health services improves both preventive and reactive care.”
He added, “This training will help them identify and monitor individuals with HIV/AIDS and other sexually-transmitted infections much sooner than previously done. This is an important step in the health care chain.”
According to the President George W. Bush’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – a $30 billion initiative introduced in 2007 – Mozambique is one of 15 countries throughout the world where the HIV/AIDS epidemic is most severe. More than 20 million people in Africa have died of AIDS, and as a result countries like Mozambique are in dire need of stronger laboratory services.
The six-member faculty of MDC’s Clinical Laboratory Sciences Program is conducting the training which is comprised of classroom learning, lab tests, and field experiments. The training ends in December and the students will receive a certificate of completion, enjoy a brief holiday break, and then begin a rotational clinical lab residency at a U.S. Public Health Laboratory. “We want to prepare these individuals so when they return to their respective countries with the requisite knowledge, skills, and abilities to train other clinical laboratory personnel,” said Solomon.
“As one of the largest institutions for higher education, it is pleasing to know we are helping to fulfill two very important needs here by providing the learning tools to deserving students and doing our part to make this world a better place to live,” said MDC Medical Center Campus President Anita S. Kaplan, Ed.D.
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