Dr. Sylvie Kwedi Nolna, President and Founder of CLEAR, Inc. is the part of the HIGHER WOMEN consortium that was recently highlighted on the WHO/TDR website
HIGHER Women – Supporting Early-Career Women Scientists in Cameroon
Problem: Early-career women scientists in Cameroon face numerous challenges while establishing their careers, including lack of mentors and role models, lack of research and proposal development skills, inadequate capacity for funding-raising, lack of networking opportunities, and many rarely plan for their careers.
Proposed Solution: To address the challenges that early-career women scientists in Cameroon face, Higher Institute for Growth in HEalth Research for Women (HIGHER Women) - a consortium comprising of women health researchers in Cameroon was established in 2015 to support and build the capacity of early-career women scientists to develop long-term careers in health research through mentoring, skills development and career planning.
Impact: 10 early-career women scientists have developed grant proposals. A one-day workshop to review and revise the proposals prior to submission for grant funding is planned.
5 protégés received travel grants to present proposals developed during the workshop.
50 protégés will receive mentoring support from 17 mentors for a year. It is anticipated that protégés will not only transition from protégé to researcher in 5 years, but will also be inspired to pay it forward by becoming mentors to future early-career women scientists.
To keep the momentum going, HIGHER Women has established a website to facilitate networking, information sharing and advocacy for women researchers. HIGHER Women plans to submit an article documenting the consortium’s efforts to support early-career women scientists for publication.
With support from several ministries, including the Ministry of Higher Education, the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and the Family and the Ministry of Research and Innovation, all of which are represented on the consortium, HIGHER Women will be formalized and launched as a national network with country-wide membership, and a platform to bring together women scientists. HIGHER Women also plans to establish a Research Centre where quality research can be undertaken and whose premises can be used for training workshops, thereby raising the profile of health research.
LATEST PUBLICATIONS BY DR. SYVIE KWEDI NOLNA:
1. Kwedi Nolna, S., Essama Mekongo, P., Leke Fomban, R. (2017). Mentoring for Early-Career Women in health research : The HIGHER Women Consortium approach. Global Health Epidemiology and Genomics, 2. E3. Doi:10.1017/gheg/.2016.20
2. Malm, S., Ghoma Linguissi,L., Tekwu, E., Vouvoungui, J., , Vouvoungui,C., Kohl, T., Beckert, P., Sibide, A., Rüsch-Gerdes, S., Madzou-Laboum, I., Kwedi, S., Penlap-Beng, V., Niemann, S., Frank, M., Ntoumi, F. and Stefan Niemann. Genetic diversity and Sequence analysis for detection of drug resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis circulating in Brazzaville, Congo. Emerging Infectious Diseases, March 2017; 23(3). In Press. http://dx.doi.org/10.3201/eid2303.160679.
3. Leke, R. G. & Kwedi Nolna, S. (2016). Health research: Mentoring female scientists in Africa. Nature, 536, 30.
4. Kwedi, N. S., Kammogne, I. D., Ndzinga, R., Afanda, B., Ntone, R., Boum, Y. et al. (2016). Community knowledge, attitudes and practices in relation to tuberculosis in Cameroon. Int J.Tuberc.Lung Dis., 20, 1199-1204.