Write your paper based on Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) data on reproductive and child health
For PhD students and researchers interested in skills to independently analyse DHS data on reproductive and child health: take this hybrid 10-week course resulting in your own publishable-quality research paper.
Date limite : 1 novembre 2023
Ndèye Awa Fall
I work as a research officer at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) West Africa Regional Office in Senegal, where I am involved in various projects on adolescent and women health, for example Countdown 2030. I heard about the DHS course from our executive director at APHRC, who shared it with the whole staff. I am really happy that I took this course because I gained more confidence in analysing data, which is crucial for my professional duties. I am working on a dataset from 2014-2019 which involves thousands of respondents and I am trying to analyse if the knowledge of adolescents about contraception improved within this timeframe.
The final objective of the course is to have an a publishable research paper which we can submit to a scientific journal, and it will be the first time I am the first author of a paper, so it’s a very exciting opportunity. I am currently pursuing a PhD degree in health geography at Gaston Berger University (Saint-Louis, Senegal), and the methodology I learned in this course will surely be applicable in my research.
I am an obstetrician-gynaecologist, currently pursuing a PhD at Uganda’s Makerere University. My research focuses on understanding what leads to infertility in Uganda. In my clinical work at St Francis Hospital Nsambya hospital I have been noticing a rise in infertility in the past decades; it affects roughly six to 10 per cent of the couples. To be able to tackle this issue, we need to understand the magnitude of the problem in the country, how it is distributed in the country and the underlying reasons. I heard about ITM’s DHS course from an alumnus, who did the course the previous year. I believe that this short course will help me to better analyse data: I am currently focusing on DHS surveys from 2011-2016 with a very large dataset; there were 19,088 female participants were interviewed in different parts of the country, so it gives a comprehensive overview.
In addition to helping with my own research, the course will also be useful in my teaching work at Uganda Martyrs University, Mother Kevin Postgraduate school at Nsambya. I hope to pass on what I have learned to my students.
My fellow DHS course mates and coaches have been very supportive. For a clinician, working with researchers and demographers in this new field of DHS was very exciting. The coaches were very knowledgeable of the subject matter and they had a great way of explaining the difficult subjects. They were also very accessible to us. The on-site, face-to-face week on the beautiful ITM campus was a winner. Meeting the coaches in person was a humbling and very enriching experience.
I chose ITM for my studies because of the unique opportunities it provides. I am currently a PhD student at the University of California, Irvine, and I recognised the importance of gaining experience in analysing and utilizing DHS data for my research endeavours and PhD dissertation. Specifically, my interests lie in understanding healthcare accessibility and the consequences of inadequate healthcare access, particularly in West Africa and my home country, Côte d'Ivoire. That's why I eagerly enrolled in the Write Your Paper Based on Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) Data on Reproductive and Child Health course. I knew that participating in this workshop would significantly benefit my PhD studies and contribute to my future career aspirations. It would enhance my skills in presenting research findings and writing high-quality publishable papers or manuscripts based on DHS data.
There were several aspects that I genuinely liked and found beneficial in the course. Firstly, the support system provided was exceptional. The instructors and fellow participants created a collaborative and encouraging environment, which allowed us to freely engage in discussions, seek clarification, and share insights. This support system fostered a sense of camaraderie and made the learning experience enjoyable. Additionally, the course provided a conducive environment for conducting our analyses. There sources and tools available were comprehensive and well-suited for our research needs. This facilitated efficient data analysis and enabled us to explore different methodologies effectively. The practical nature of the course, coupled with the availability of necessary resources, contributed to a productive learning environment.
As a result of these factors, I felt incredibly productive throughout the course. The combination of a supportive community and an enabling environment allowed me to make significant progress in my research. It motivated me to actively participate, ask questions, and delve deeper into the subject matter. Overall, I thoroughly appreciated the positive atmosphere, the opportunity to run analyses, and the ability to engage in fruitful discussions.
The course has significantly benefited my future career by equipping me with essential skills and knowledge in utilizing DHS data. It has enhanced my research and analytical abilities while expanding my professional network. Overall, it has positioned me well for making valuable contributions in the fields of spatial epidemiology and maternal & child health.