Philip MacMillan took part in a research project in Tanzania funded by the UK government's Department for International Development. He shares his experiences
Brucellosis is a bacterial disease that can pass from farm animals to people. In livestock, it induces abortion and reduced milk production, and in people it causes a serious acute illness, featuring endocarditis and arthritis, which may progress to cause permanent disability. Brucellosis occurs in almost all developing countries and can have disastrous implications for rural communities.
While working as a laboratory technician during the university vacation, I became aware of the Tanzanian project run in collaboration with Glasgow and Edinburgh Universities. I contacted a senior researcher from Edinburgh who was overseeing the project, explained my medical background, and expressed my interest. At the laboratory I had been involved in testing blood samples sent from Tanzania and so had the relevant skills. I had also contacted other people in the United Kingdom and in Tanzania involved with the project to find out as much as I could and so was