Making a mark in Open Medical Institute's Seminar in Vector-borne Diseases at The Institut Pasteur, Vietnam
Atikah Fitria Muharromah, PhD student, had recently participated in the Open Medical Institute (OMI) seminar held in Institut Pasteur Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, from November 12 to 16, 2023 to network with subject-matter experts on vector-borne diseases. 34 fellows from Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia, Laos, South Korea, Indonesia, France, Hong Kong.
Upon arriving in Vietnam late at night, Atikah was impressed by the warm reception and the bustling atmosphere at the arrival gate. Hailing from Indonesia, the weather reminded her of her home.
The seminar, her inaugural OMI experience, commenced with a welcoming speech from Stephanie Faschang and the Director of Institut Pasteur Vietnam. while Professor Anna-Bella Failloux led the course, covering Vector-Borne Diseases in Asia. Atikah expressed her excitement, citing the relevance to her medical entomology field.
Engaging discussions and a panel session on Dengue in Asia enriched the learning experience.
The subsequent days delved into diverse topics, including malaria, bioecology of sand flies, the Leishmania pathogen transmission, vaccine developments, and the emergence of vector-borne diseases. Atikah highlighted a memorable dinner where she enjoyed authentic Vietnamese cuisine with fellows from South Korea and Japan.
The concluding day featured discussions on animal reservoirs, social science, and modeling approaches in predicting disease emergence. Atikah actively participated in a round table session, sharing insights on predicting vector-borne disease emergences.
Reflecting on the seminar, Atikah expressed gratitude, emphasizing the relevance of the content to her medical entomology expertise. She praised the speakers' expertise and acknowledged the friendly and humble OMI team. Building a network with participants from various countries added a valuable dimension to her experience.
Atikah's personal highlight was Professor Anna-Bella's insights into vector-borne diseases, emphasizing the importance of understanding vectors and potential transmission cycles. Looking ahead, she plans to apply the knowledge gained in her role as a medical entomologist and when she becomes a university lecturer.
Meanwhile. there was a test at the end of the course, of which Atikah herself achieved the highest score among the participants and received an award for her academic excellence. Congratulations!
All in all, Atikah's participation in the OMI seminar was described as a transformative experience, providing her with valuable knowledge, networking opportunities, and a renewed commitment to contribute to the elimination of vector-borne diseases.
"The OMI team is also very friendly and humble. It was also wonderful to meet and have an opportunity to network, especially in the field of vector-borne diseases. I will never forget about this seminar for the entirety of my life. Joining this course is the best choice that I have ever made"
We here at MEcoH are proud of you Atikah! Thank you for building meaningful connections in your field and we hope the doors you have opened through the collective opportunities made here would lead to bigger and brighter things.