The BRTI does not provide academic courses – this is the function of universities and colleges in the region. However, the BRTI does commit to assisting scientists in Zimbabwe and the region to acquire skills to enable them to compete effectively in the international scientific community. To achieve this goal, the BRTI has since its founding been responsible for the design and delivery of appropriate training courses to develop research capacity in specific areas.
BRTI TRAINING COURSES
• African International Course in Serological Diagnostic Techniques
• Research Methodology for Disease Control Managers
• Interpretation and Quality Control in Laboratory Detection of Infectious Disease
• Health Care Management Development
• Data Handling, Epidemiology and Statistics
• Rickettsial Diagnosis and Characterisation
• Health Sector Reform Analysis
• Microscopic Diagnosis of Infectious Disease
• Malaria Research Methodology for Disease Control
• Antibiotic Susceptibility Testing
• Mycological Infections in Southern Africa
• The Use of Epi-Info for Data Collection and Analysis.
In 2005 and again in 2010 the BRTI successfully competed for an NIH/FIC International Clinical Operational Health Service Research Training Award in HIV & TB (ICOHRTA). This award has enabled the BRTI to provide direct support for over 40 postgraduate research scientists, attached to different research projects and registered with universities in Zimbabwe, and also 15 Clinical Fellowships that provide support for postgraduates in clinical medicine. The award also enables BRTI to host training courses to develop research skills. There have, since 1995, been over 1500 participants including many from the southern Africa region as well as Zimbabwe.
The BRTI encourages the use of active training methods in course delivery, and has installed active teaching technologies such as “smartboard” and “cintiq” systems. Courses make extensive use of videos, discussion points and group work as part of the learning process. All courses are given an evaluation, using closed and open questionnaires, so that they can be evaluated and improved. The BRTI is in the process of making course materials available on-line, to further disseminate skills to researchers in the region.
It makes better sense to train local personnel under local conditions and with local facilitators. This enables participants to gain experience under the same conditions that they experience in their home laboratory or institution, and usually at much lower cost than training in a laboratory in Europe or North America. Moreover it strengthens the teaching capacity of local personnel and provides a source of income to support them in the valuable work with local research institutions and educational centres. BRTI collaborates in other capacity building programmes such as SACORE and MEPI-NECTAR at the University of Zimbabwe’s College of Health Sciences.