We would like to extend a warm welcome to Dr. Kevin Martin who is a global health PhD fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He has expressed his enthusiasm for beginning his journey with us and took a moment to share more about himself;
“I am a Wellcome Trust clinical PhD fellow in global health, registered at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. My background is as a clinician in HIV and sexual health. I initially came to Zimbabwe in 2019 as an MSc student, when I conducted a mixed methods study nested within the CHIEDZA trial, assessing the uptake of STI testing among youth. This led to an evaluation of on-site testing for STIs using GeneXpert at CHIEDZA sites in Bulawayo.
Both of these studies laid the groundwork for my PhD proposal, “Investigating point-of-care diagnostics for sexually transmitted infections and antimicrobial resistance in primary care in Zimbabwe (IPSAZ)”. This study will recruit 1000 pregnant women attending clinics for antenatal care in Harare. They will be offered a package of testing for STIs, including Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis, and Hepatitis B, alongside HIV and Syphilis testing, with Gonorrhoea isolates also tested for antimicrobial resistance. The overall aim of the study is to evaluate this strategy of testing, and to determine its acceptability, feasibility, and cost-effectiveness.
The results will guide the use of point-of-care tests for STIs, guide national STI management guidelines, and inform the development of a gonorrhoea antimicrobial surveillance programme, in Zimbabwe.” - Kevin Martin