Rantshabeng becomes Best MARS Young African Researcher Award winner
Dated : 03.03.2017
BSc Medical Laboratory graduate student, Ms Patricia Rantshabeng, of the University of Botswana School of Medicine is the 2016 winner of the MARS Best Young African Researchers Award. She was presented with the award at the 2nd UNESCO-MERCK African Researchers Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on November 27, 2016. MARS is an acronym for Merck Africa Research Summit.
Ms Rantshabeng scooped first place in the Best Young African Researchers Award category for her study on cancer in women and its relation to infectious diseases in Botswana. The goal of her study was to determine the prevalence of oncogenic HPV types causing anogenital cancers in Botswana. The study is aligned with the UNESCO-MARS objectives to empower women in both fields of research and oncology to improve women health.
Ms Rantshabeng obtained first place followed by other young Africans from Cameroon, Zimbabwe and Gambia in second, third and fourth places respectively. The recipients, who are not only PhD students and young investigators based in African research institutes and universities, were selected based on the abstracts they submitted. The abstracts were related to infectious diseases with the aim of improving women health.
Speaking in an interview, Ms Rantshabeng said the Merck Young African Research Awards would empower and motivate other young women to identify problem areas in their communities.
“I am excited at winning the Merck Best Young African Researchers Award. It is nice to be appreciated when you do good work for the benefit of your people and the world at large,” she said.
She said the UNESCO-MERCK African Researchers Summit would contribute significantly to her career in that she met people with different experiences, some of whom were working in the same field that she was working on, hence would assist find solutions to problems each faced in their country.
Merck in partnership with UNESCO, African Union, Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health, University of Cambridge and Institute Pasteur International, successfully held the second edition of UNESCO-Merck Africa Research Summit (UNESCO-MARS) in Addis Ababa. The aim of the 2016 Summit was to empower women in research with the key focus on Infectious Diseases and Women Health.