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RCSI Committed to Education Excellence
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Clinical officer Surgical training in africa (CoSt-africa) is an EU-
funded research project, 2011-15, evaluating the training of Clinical
Officers to undertake major surgery, using a cluster randomised
controlled trial design. During the year, a new BSc was accredited in
Malawi, 17 clinical officers were enrolled for training, and a survey
of 17 of Malawi's 27 district hospitals was conducted. In Zambia,
COST-Africa delivered additional training in surgery, professionalism,
epidemiology and research data collection to 35 clinical officers,
working in a complex national policy environment. RCSI's research
team consists of Dr Tracey McCauley, Juzer Lotya and Professor
Ruairi Brugha.
SODIS
The solar water disinfection (SODIS) studies carried out by Professor
Kevin McGuigan and his research team in rural Uganda, as part of
the Water is Life programme, are nearing completion. The three-
year project, which introduced SODIS into rural primary schools and
households, has revealed that:
Noneofthe14primaryschoolsinthestudyhadaccesstowater
that complied with Ugandan national drinking water quality
standards.
SODIShadasignificanteffectonlevelsofwaterbornepathogen
levels in the water consumed by the school children, producing
log reduction values of 2.6 (P<0.001), and 3.5 (P<0.001). for
E. coli & E. faecalis, respectively.
PrimaryschoolpupilswereeffectiveinthetransferofSODIS
knowledge to the community. The use of SODIS as a household
water treatment technology increased from 4 per cent at baseline
to over 60 per cent by the end of the study.
SODISwasmosteffectiveinwatersamplesfromrain-harvested
water and bore-holes compared to shallow-well and open-dug
water sources.
Thequalityoftheharvestedrainwatershowedsignificantlevels
of contamination However, SODIS, using PET bottles, is effective
in the treatment of the harvested rainwater.
On the basis of these findings, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya
Bint Al Hussein, wife of the Prime Minister of the United Arab
Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, and daughter of the late King Hussein
of Jordan awarded a generous grant of 20,000 towards providing
harvested rainwater tanks for some of the those primary schools
using solar disinfection but without access to a pumped well. RCSI
Foundation Year students, completing a fundraising elective module,
raised a further 600 towards this also. Depending on exchange
rates and labour costs, this should be sufficient to install rainwater
collection tanks for between five and six primary schools in our
Makondo project area. Work will begin on installing these in the
autumn of 2013.
Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine, RCSI
New and better tools, technologies and products are needed
to deal with infectious diseases in resource-poor countries. The
Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine, under
the leadership of Professor Samuel J. McConkey, is working hard on
making and testing an effective malaria vaccine suitable for children.
In 2012/3, the Department organised and completed a first-ever
clinical trial in humans of two new malaria vaccines. In total, 24 very
healthy volunteers participated in the trial that took place at RCSI's
Clinical Research Centre in Dublin. The volunteers' T-lymphocytes
responded well to the vaccinations; the action which may protect
against malaria. Both of the new vaccines trialled were well tolerated.
Following the work in Dublin, the team went on to help their UK
and Italian collaborators, to perform two phase II malaria challenge
studies with the same vaccines in London, with results pending.
This work was funded by European Vaccine Initiative and Irish Aid.
The Department has also set up and evaluated a new national
malaria surveillance system in The Gambia, as part of a health
systems PhD programme. This work has helped to control and treat
malaria better there.
In another initiative, the Department has assessed the screeening
programme for immigrants and asylum seekers coming to Ireland,
and found it is mixed, varied, and staffed by many dedicated
and thoughful people. However, they are largely uncoordinated,
unconnected and unlinked to each other, or to national leadership
for training, audit of guidelines, problem-solving, or sharing of
best practice.
Overall, we have had a busy and productive year.
Professor Michael Earley
Chairman, RCSI OUTREACH, Committee
for International Cooperation
Niamh Griffin, Journalist,
at her Uganda Photo
Exhibition, Northside
Civic Centre, Coolock,
Dublin. Niamh travelled
to Uganda in September
2012 to see, first-hand,
the work being done
by RCSI-COSECSA
collaboration programme.