During a 5-day face-to-face workshop, the young researchers who have been following the AFRICA BUILD pilot eLearning course on HIV/AIDS research (about 20 resident students following a specialization programme after medicine) had the opportunity to improve their skills in scientific writing and in all steps of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) search: finding studies, assessing an intervention to respond to a clinical problem, assessing these studies, and to identify gaps in clinical research.
Our colleague Khanna Jitendra, from WHO-RHR, covered interactive sessions on writing scientific papers and research proposals, using in the hands-on sessions examples of papers in need of more editing. ITM took care of an exercise to go through each step of EBM: starting from an existing intervention, participants searched databases for new evidence, assessed the quality and effect of the new evidence, and decided if the intervention might need to be updated or not.
This workshop was also the perfect occasion to evaluate the pilot eLearning courses that participants had followed during the last 3 months. With a focus group discussion and an anonymous survey, barriers and shortcomings of this pilot course were revealed. Good access to information and to the course content remains a main issue to be solved, but also the communication and the selection of participants to the course, needs improvement. In general, participants were satisfied of the topics that were covered and of the content. The learning method, mainly using recorded presentations and interactive exercises, was well appreciated.
One person from FMPOS Bamako attended this face-to-face workshop in order to plan a similar wrap-up session in Bamako mid-May, with the same purpose as the week in Yaoundé.