This week’s Alumni Profile features, Chishala M. Kapambwe-Muchemwa, who graduated from the School in 2012 with a PGDip/MSc in Infectious Diseases by Distance Learning. Chishala now works as a Lecturer/Researcher at The Copperbelt University, School of Medicine, in Zambia.
Why did you choose to study at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine? The London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine is one of the most prestigious Universities with its experienced teaching staff and well advanced techniques and research. My specialty, infectious diseases, was well taught and explained in the modules such that even by studying through Distance Learning, it was as though I was in class full time. The School has a very renowned standard of teaching and research, second to none. I feel so privileged to have been a student at this school.
What challenges did you face while studying at the School and how did you overcome them? The only challenge I ever faced during my was during my MSc research and thesis. I communicated the problems I was having with my research with the Distance Learning Course Director. She personally called me and after that discussion, a solution was found that enabled me to complete my thesis, submit on time and pass.
How has your degree from the School helped you in your career? My degree has provided me with a lot of confidence and a better understanding of science and infectious diseases. Through my work as a Lecturer/Researcher, I have used the knowledge acquired from LSHTM to be a better Lecturer and Researcher. The text books, materials and modules have helped my work so much. I have expanded the project I did for my Masters and have received $17,938 in funding from The Copperbelt University Research Committee to continue researching as Principle Investigator of the project.
Were the relationships formed during your time at the School useful? Yes, these relationships were useful in that even now when I need help in my Research, I get in contact with some Lecturers at LSHTM for consultations.
What has been your greatest achievement so far in your career? One of my proudest moments was when I got a job as a Lecturer/Researcher and was given the grant of $17,938 by the University Research Committee nearly 6 months after being employed. The opportunity allowed me to be exposed to international conferences, presenting my work on infectious and communicable diseases. Additionally, I have spear-headed the writing and compiling of BSc Biomedical Sciences (by full time and by distance learning) curricula for Copperbelt University, Medical School.
What would you like to go on to achieve? I hope to continue to become a better Lecturer/Researcher and attain a PhD. Likewise, I hope to be a part of that team in my country, region and the world, that will work towards finding lasting solutions to the pandemics and epidemics caused by infectious diseases. I would also like to work towards finding a means of eradicating diseases of poverty that are common and cause a lot of deaths in Zambia and in most parts of Africa.
Any advice for current students? Please study hard. The School provides the materials, expertise and the environment. All you have to do is do your part, STUDY, understand and consult when not sure.
LSHTM, thank you for allowing me the opportunity to study at your School and therefore giving me an opportunity to be part of this big and beautiful alumni group!
Photo credit: Chishala M. Kapambwe-Muchemwa on graduation day at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.