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We’re celebrating the achievements of Malaria Consortium’s Dr Sylvia Meek scholars. The scholarship fund was set up in 2016 following the death of Dr Sylvia Meek, one of the organisation’s co-founders. Since then, seven students have embarked on two-year master’s programmes in entomology at one of three universities: Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand; the University of Nigeria, Nsukka; and the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

In our first look at the achievements of the scholars, Amos Watentena tells us about his experience studying at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.


Coming from a country with the fifth-highest malaria cases in the world and with some of the highest transmission rates of mosquito-borne diseases, I joined the MSc Entomology and Forensic Sciences programme to fulfill the will to pursue a career where I can have an impact in changing this trend.

The journey of almost two years in a foreign country at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka campus has been a tough but rewarding experience. I have been quite impressed, particularly by the attention rendered by the research supervisors, the flexibility in the learning process and the hospitality of the people, which opened up doors for new challenges and helped me discover my potential. Although the programme was affected by strikes by the academic staff, this didn’t prevent me from utilising my time effectively. I was engaged in countless seminars, online courses and, thanks to the Triangle Global Health Consortium, a three-month mentorship programme in global health that introduced me to the benefits of networking, global health issues and professional development.

While at the Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, exposure to courses covering the main contemporary issues related to insect ecology, climate change, bioinformatics, insect physiology, pesticide ecobiology, arthropod taxonomy, medical/veterinary entomology and seminar presentations enabled me to build confidence and knowledge about medical entomology and the underlying issues in combating vectors and vector-borne diseases.

About the Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship

In memory of Malaria Consortium co-founder Dr Sylvia Meek and aided by many generous donations, the Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship for Entomology was set up in 2016

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In memory of Malaria Consortium co-founder Dr Sylvia Meek and aided by many generous donations, the Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship for Entomology was set up in 2016 to support students from across the world to study entomology at universities in Nigeria, South Africa and Thailand.

Malaria Consortium and partnering universities are committed to ensuring Sylvia’s values are carried on by the world’s future entomologists. Sylvia was a great scientist, her dedication and compassion were an inspiration to her associates and colleagues and her legacy will support a new generation of public health specialists in Africa and Asia.

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Completion of this master’s degree programme is the best moment in my life for this year so far. I am now fully equipped and prepared to embrace a career in entomology, with a focus on researching further into mosquitoes and improving the vector control toolkit. I am excited about this achievement and I strongly extend my appreciation to the entire team of Malaria Consortium, donors and partners, for the Dr Sylvia Meek Scholarship of Entomology. Thanks for settling all the financial needs; I would have not made it to this day. God bless you all.

You can find out more about the scholarship and the legacy of Dr Sylvia Meek here.

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