Wednesday February 7, 2018 is a day delegates, team members and speakers at The Nigerian Child Initiative (T.N.C.I) RESEARCH MASTERCLASS would not forget in a hurry.
This was an event conceived, excellently planned and brought to life through teamwork by the core team members of T.N.C.I under the leadership of Dr Yusuf Shittu a medical doctor (unavoidably absent, currently serving his country in the National Youth Service Corps in Lagos), Project Manager, Awofeso Opeyemi, project manager, research team lead and also a speaker at the event and the AMSUL editorial team members. But due to the NASU strike the workshop started 2 hours later than initially planned
The Research Masterclass was an idea the T.N.C.I team had thought about for a while in partnership with The Association of Medical Students of the University of Lagos (AMSUL) Editorial board and supported by Global Child Health and Safety Initiative. Many of them who are students, graduates and now alumni of the University of Lagos and College of medicine, University of Lagos who had presented their research work internationally, had seen the need for quality work to be carried out in the area of research and decided to replicate their experience here in Nigeria starting from their school and Alma mater for Undergraduates who paid ₦3,000 and Post graduates who paid ₦5,000 to attend the masterclass.
The curriculum and outline was extensive touching on Introduction to Research, formulating a research question, Tools for research, Abstract, manuscript and proposal writing and Grant sourcing.
Speakers lined up for the event included Dr Ifeoma Okafor, a senior lecturer in the Department of Community Health and Primary Health Care, specializing in Maternal and Child Health, an author and co-author of several papers published in peer review journals.
Dr Amaechina Ikechukwu, a medical doctor and research enthusiast with three years of quantitative experience in data analysis and the use of Epi-info, SPSS, and other analytical software). He facilitated Practical session on Research Analysis using Epi-info and SPSS software at the Masterclass.
Mr. Charles Onyenaucheya, the keynote speaker, executive director of Global Child Health and Safety Initiative, a certified Child Care Professional with the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, and Convener of the Well-Child Conference – an annual gathering of Child care stakeholders in Government and the private sector. His keynote address was titled “The Past Presents the Future”.
He touched on a number of topics related to Child health and rights in Nigeria. However, on his research and the theme for the Masterclass, he said ‘For any goal to be sustainable, children have to be at the center, with children as he focal point’ He encouraged delegates present at the Masterclass to focus on challenge areas of children, he rounded off by challenging them as youths and leaders saying ‘if the system will be repaired, it will be repaired by youths’.
Dr Okafor came on next to teach on “What research is”, she spoke extensively on the steps from identifying a broad field, dissecting to sub areas, selecting your interests, asking research questions, formulating objectives, setting SMART objectives, reviewing literature and where to find literature to review.
Dr Nnewuihe Obinna, a physician at the intersection of Medicine, Economics and improving Public health. He currently serves on the Steering committee of the Commonwealth Youth Network where he holds the position of Coordinator for Research and Programs. He spoke on Publishing 101, how to write abstracts, reiterated the importance of following instructions when submitting abstracts for review or to present completed works and encouraged delegates to apply knowledge gotten at the workshop to present their finished works internationally.
Professor Wellington Oyibo, a professor of Medical parasitology with decades of experience in Malaria Research, one of the leading researchers in Nigeria and currently the Head of Research and Innovation at the University of Lagos was ably represented by Dr Patrick Ojini who shared insights into seeking grants and funding for research works, writing proposals to apply for grants, explaining that it was difficult for professors and lecturers to access international grants, more so undergraduates and seemed genuinely surprised and impressed undergraduate students of CMUL were interested in accessing research grants. He encouraged delegates present to identify gaps in research and work on filling them and sharing work done with the scientific community by publishing in relevant, high impact journals.
There was a coffee break, group work, networking sessions and lunch, delegates in attendance agreed the masterclass was worth attending and many felt they paid less than the worth of the Workshop and are looking forward to the next masterclass to invite their colleagues to attend. Certificates of attendance were handed out and the class was brought to an end at 5pm.