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Alumni at the 59th ITM Colloquium

The next generation in Phnom Penh

ITM’s alumni community was well represented during the 59th ITM Colloquium, organised in Phnom Penh from 5-7 December 2018. The conference theme was Antibiotic Resistance - From Research to Action.

Out of the 129 abstracts submitted, a total of 28 alumni submissions were selected by the scientific committee for an oral and/or poster presentation of their abstract at the Colloquium. They were  a diverse group of ITM alumni from South-East Asia (Cambodia and Mekong region), Africa and South-America representing our SCREM, AIM, DRTB, MPH courses and PhD training.

Thanks to alumni travel grants financed by the Belgian Development Cooperation, 16 of these international researchers had the opportunity to share their expertise on their latest clinical, biomedical and public health research on antibiotic resistance during their poster presentation, and discuss the translation of evidence into practice with peers.

Alumni look back on their Colloquium experience:  

  • Awoke Derbie from Ethiopia (SCREM 17/18): “Attending the Colloquium was a wonderful experience that showed me the future directions on how to deal with antimicrobial resistance.”
  • Jessika Hu from Hong Kong/China (MPH-DC 09/10): “The 59th ITM Colloquium was an inspiring, practical and comprehensive conference covering the spectrum of One Health, from humans to animals and to the environment, from microbiology to social and anthropological aspects, from policy to actions. I learned a lot and enjoyed myself as well.”
  • Tapfumanei Mashe from Zimbabwe (AIM 16/17, MID 17/18): “A great scientific event, packed with so much knowledge and great speakers, offering a unique balance between academic research and One Health applications.”

In fringes of the 59th ITM Colloquium, ITM’s Alumni Network organised a workshop on 8 December 2018. A diverse group of alumni were present from Cambodia, Asia and Africa, representing a wide range of health sector profiles, experiences and expertise. More than 60 ITM alumni, lecturers and staff attended the event.

The workshop served as an excellent opportunity to inform ITM alumni about the current educational reforms at the Institute and to receive their valuable feedback and input, based on their personal study-experience at ITM and expertise. Enhancing the relevance and quality of ITM’s courses through a systematic feedback from alumni is one of the objectives of ITM’s alumni policy.

The plenary thematic discussions on current challenges in Tropical Medicine and International Public Health tackled by alumni nurtured the reflection on ITM’s educational  portfolio, bridging the past (learning experiences by alumni), the present (their work experiences) and the future (reflection on new and reformed educational programmes at ITM). Participants also reflected on the flexibilisation of the MPH, a new Master in Tropical Medicine and International Health, and ITM’s pre-doc and PhD-training.

  • Jessika Hu from Hong Kong/China (MPH-DC 09/10): “ The alumni meeting on the current courses and the ITM platform reflected the concept of the student-centred education, driven with care and towards a practical life-long learning journey. I hope this concept can be scaled globally and internationally.”
  • Thuan Thi Nguyen from Vietnam (predoc 16/17, PhD): “I was happy to meet many experienced researchers, professionals who have attended courses, programs at ITM way before me and learn from them their career paths after going back home and ideas for the future of ITM Alumni Network. I feel there is enough interest and energies in the group for a pro-active Alumni Network and potential to collaborate and work together with a shared vision. I am eager to be part of the next steps for a growing network.”

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