Congratulations to KUHeS researchers

Congratulations to KUHeS researchers Jessy Goupeyou-Youmsi and Dr. Evelyn Olanga for being awarded the Pan African Mosquito Control Association Early career and Mid-career awards  respectively.

Jessy joined the Malaria Alert Centre of the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences in Malawi in January 2019 where she works as a Postdoctoral Research fellow under Malawi International Center of Excellence for Malaria Research (ICEMR). She is currently working on a project characterizing Plasmodium transmission reservoirs in Malawi and another project assessing the vector competence of local malaria vectors, both under the Malawi ICEMR. For the past two years, Jessy has been an active member of the Vector Control Technical Working Group (VCTWG) supporting the NMCP, Malawi.

Jessy Goupeyou

Speaking after receiving the award Jessy said;

“Vector-borne diseases (VBDs) cause more than 700,000 deaths annually. It is reported that the burden of VBDs is highest in tropical and subtropical areas, and that they disproportionately affect the poorest populations. To be recognized by the PAMCA WIVC for my role in the control of VBDs in SSA is a great honor and a privilege. Therefore, I take this opportunity to thank PAMCA WIVC initiative for this great initiative and for bringing people together, especially for giving us, young female researchers in vector control, a platform to share our research ideas and establish networking.”

Dr. Evelyn Olanga obtained her PhD in Medical Entomology in 2016 and her training at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology (icipe), Kenya. Since then, she has been a Postdoctoral research scientist at the Malaria Alert Centre (MAC) of the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences. She has conducted field studies characterizing mosquito behaviour and the risk of malaria in endemic districts in southern and central Malawi.

Speaking after receiving the award Dr. Evelyn said;

Dr. Olanga

 “I feel blessed to be the first recipient of the PAMCA WIVC mid-career Excellence Award. I’m aware that not every African woman gets the chance to participate in addressing development issues and research, let alone win an award. This award serves as an on-going reminder that women can still achieve their dreams, even after taking a break from science and research. Therefore, in the spirit of this award I challenge women to believe in themselves, even if you are facing some challenges. There is still a lot of work to be done in the fight against vector-borne diseases and the contribution of women is valuable in making Africa disease-free.”  

The Excellence Award Ceremony was a chance to recognise phenomenal women working in the field; celebrate rising stars and women who have contributed exceptionally to research and leadership in the control of VBDs in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A total of 36 applications were received and awardees were competitively selected based on pre-determined criteria. Following an application and extensive review process by a selection committee, five women were awarded Excellence Awards under three categories; early-career, mid-career, and senior-career. Category winners were awarded with a grant of $2000, and runners up received $1000. The awardees will re-invest the funds in initiatives that will continue to promote women participation in VBDs.

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