01 July 2015 Volume :3 Issue :31

UKZN Lecturer Completes Training at Harvard Medical School

UKZN Lecturer Completes Training at Harvard Medical School
Dr Onyemaechi Azu who trained at Harvard Medical School in the United States.

Senior Lecturer in Clinical Anatomy, Dr Onyemaechi Azu, has completed a year of Clinical Trials training at Harvard Medical School in the United States.

‘It was awesome being at the oldest medical institution in United States which has trained so many world class scholars,’ said Azu, who received the Certificate of Completion in Clinical Trials from the institution.

The Harvard Medical School Global Clinical Scholars Research Training (GCSRT) Programme uses a blended-learning approach to provide clinicians and clinician-scientists from around the world with advanced training in methods and conduct of clinical research.

It teaches participants relevant information on conduct, implementation, and analysis of clinical trials, with a focus on the methods of study design, ethics, recruitment, and biostatistical considerations used in designing and analysing clinical trials.

Azu, a plastination specialist whose time at Harvard was funded by UKZN’s College of Health Sciences and the School of Laboratory Medicine and Medical Sciences, said: ‘To be screened and found worthy to study at Harvard Medical School indicated to me that I was equal among my peers globally.’

He said there was an ever increasing need for health care professionals to be properly trained, aligned and orientated to tackle the current highly volatile and evolving disease trends. ‘To do this you need experts with a good grasp of proper scientific rigour and mastery to unlock gaps in knowledge. The training offered by the GCSRT platform fulfils this commitment of alleviating human suffering.

‘It has been a trying period in my career,’ said Azu. ‘Besides travelling frequently, the volume of academic work and its depth and expectations are quite a burden.’

His ultimate goal is to contribute to the training of professionals who have the right attitude to work; especially the league of youngsters he believes can transform the profession into a friendlier and highly sophisticated one. 

Azu has published extensively in the field of Anatomy with research interests in testicular histomorphometry, toxicology, endocrinology, plastination techniques and anatomical education.

Azu says his mentors – who included eminent professors, physicians and scholars – were instrumental in him developing an approach of doing things correctly and he tries to instil that same attitude in his students.

Lunga Memela

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