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Alumnus Michel Kaswa becomes Director of TB Programme in DRC

Testimony by alumnus from the Democratic Republic of the Congo


Image 1/1 : a picture of Michel Kaswa

"Medical doctor since 1999, I finished my specialisation in medical biology with the option of medical microbiology in 2005 at the Kinshasa University. After obtaining this degree I was appointed as lecturer at Kinshasa University and Head of the Unit for Mycobacteriology at the National Public Health Laboratory (INRB). At the end of 2006, I was awarded a CDC/APHL scholarship to work at the New York State Department of Health in New York, USA, as a “Visiting Scientist”. After my return to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), I was appointed as the Head of Operational Research of the National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP). During the academic year of 2007-2008, I participated in the Master of Science of Public Health programme, orientation Disease Control, at ITM Antwerp. This programme greatly improved my skills in data analysis and provided me with a holistic approach to health problems. In 2009, I started doctoral studies (PhD) at ITM with funds from the Belgian Development Cooperation and worked on the input of new diagnostic molecular tools in the control of drug-resistant tuberculosis (DR TB). In 2010, I was promoted Head of the Technical Division of the National Tuberculosis Programme in DRC and I was in charge of the multidrug-resistant TB (MDR TB), tuberculosis-HIV coinfections, National Reference Laboratory (BSL3 facility), Medicine, Operational Research and Training Units. Very quickly I became the technical manager for the implementation of programmes for TB control in DRC. Participating in the MPH-DC programme at ITM Antwerp, has greatly helped me to prepare for this function. I have become the lead consultant for the creation of primary projects for the mobilisation of local/domestic and external resources (World Bank, USAID, CTB-BTC, …) for disease control at the NTP. In 2015, on top of all the other functions, I was promoted Head of the National Reference Lab for Mycobacteriology in DRC. Finally, on 13 January 2017, I became Director of National Tuberculosis Programme of the DRC. Its programme detects more than 120.000 TB cases per year and more than 600 MDR TB cases. Our mandate will be to accelerate the national response to endemic TB and HIV, and to eliminate TB as a public health problem by around 2030."

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