It’s Sunday evening in Yaoundé, Cameroon, and four young career researchers are meeting each other face-to-face for the first time as MESA Correspondents to the 6th Pan-African Mosquito Control Association (PAMCA) Annual Conference. Over the next few days these volunteers will be reporting live on cutting-edge science and meeting highlights, sharing these important insights with the world. Their voices will capture the scientific advances and future directions of the field, to engage global audiences in these global health efforts.
The MESA Correspondents’ Role
MESA Correspondents will be important contributors to the upcoming Keystone Symposia “The Malaria Endgame: Innovation in Therapeutics, Vector Control and Public Health Tools” in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Both the Keystone Symposia and the MESA Alliance share the vision and mission:
- To connect researchers, implementers and policymakers within and across disciplines to coordinate and innovate global health strategies
- To ensure all of these parties have access to the latest scientific evidence and advances to inform research and public health directions
Therefore, this Keystone Symposia meeting is a great platform for this program. Their reporting will help increase visibility and publicity of the meeting, broadcasting the conference proceedings in almost real-time.
The MESA Correspondents will report on three themes around which the conference is organized: drug and insecticide resistance, leveraging data science to better understand disease transmission, and innovation in vector control strategies. A particular highlight will be the opening address from Dr. Tedros, Director-General of the World Health Organization.
Let the eyes and ears of the MESA Correspondents be your guide from Ethiopia. Subscribe to the MESA daily reports, and follow #KSmalaria on twitter for breaking news from “The Malaria Endgame.”
MESA Correspondents Program Elements
The MESA Correspondents are charged with:
- Writing short summaries of the highlights and technical content of the presentations, covering broach and niche disciplines within the field of malaria and related topics
- interviewing speakers and field leaders for novel insights into the latest research advances and directions
- At the end of the day, the MESA team pieces together all the summaries into a daily chronicle, shared the following day through several communications channels.
The “live reporting” aspect is a special niche of the program and invaluable training experience for developing essential skills in science communication and journalism. Throughout this rigorous process, Correspondents are supported by experienced scientists that guide and supervise their work, while enhancing interaction with the speakers for the validation of their talks and other networking opportunities.
The Value of the MESA Correspondents Program to Young Researchers
The nature of the program makes it highly demanding and sometimes tiring. However, the Correspondents agree on the benefits of volunteering as a MESA Correspondent for their work and career in malaria, as it offers rare and unique opportunities for training and networking within the malaria community.
“My participation in this program was a wise investment and will pay off for years to come. The MESA Correspondents program facilitates the induction and networking of young scientists into a broader research environment full of senior researchers.”
Through their integral involvement in these scientific meetings, the MESA Correspondents learn valuable lessons from peers and mentors, while developing knowledge and skill sets that will help them navigate their future in malaria research.
The Value of Live Reporting to the Malaria Research Community
Overall, the whole malaria community benefits from the program, which enables the dissemination of valuable information to broader audiences.
“The program does an incredible job of informing the world about recent trends in malaria research.”
“Thank you for your update on malaria issues. Your update during the MIM Pan-African Malaria Conference in Dakar was great. Keep it up.”
— Senior Research Fellow, University of Benin
Meet the Correspondents:
- Solomon M Abay– a faculty member at Addis Ababa University with a PhD in Life Sciences and Public Health
“I am interested in drug discovery and development research for infectious diseases, particularly malaria and neglected tropical diseases. I am looking forward to working with MESA at the Keystone Symposia – The Malaria Endgame – to share the conference outcomes on latest innovations in therapeutics, vector control and public health tools for those who are unable to attend and using this opportunity to network with experts in the area.”
- Maya Fraser– a Research Associate with the MACEPA project at PATH, with a master’s in public health
“I am interested in learning more about how we can create optimal intervention mixes and improve coverage of existing interventions. I am excited to work as a MESA correspondent to share new research with our colleagues across the world!”
Feel the satisfaction of seeing your words reach a wider audience
See MESA Correspondents Coverage from:
- Previous Correspondents Collection: Correspondents Section
What are we missing? What conferences do you want to attend through the eyes of the Correspondents? Let MESA know here.
*Thanks to the MESA Correspondents Program for their partnership and providing this guest blog post