Yao Kouamé Kan Serge Alain, master student in Medical and eterinary Entomology at the Université Alassane Ouat tara, Ivory Coast
Young Scientist Voices

In the Footprints of Renowned Researchers

Dedicated young scientists are needed to discover ways to treat malaria. Here, three young researchers outline their development so far and their motivations to fight this disease.

Protector of Human and Animal Health

Yao Kouamé Kan Serge Alain, master student in Medical and eterinary Entomology at the Université Alassane Ouat tara, Ivory Coast
Credit: Yao Kouamé Kan Serge Alain, Bayer AG

 

Yao Kouamé Kan Serge Alain earned a bachelor’s degree in Agropastoral Management. Currently, he is pursuing his master’s degree in the field of Medical and Veterinary Entomology at the Université Alassane Ouat tara, Ivory Coast. 

During my childhood, I had three different dreams for my future: I wanted to become a pilot, join the military or be a doctor. As I grew up, I discovered that I am very sensitive to the pain of others. Therefore, I decided to become a researcher in entomology. Human and animal health had been part of my ambition for a long time and, by the grace of God, I received the chance to enroll for the master’s degree program in Medical and Veterinary Entomology. After that I will pursue my Ph.D. Throughout my studies, I was motivated by the fact that there is still a lot of research to be done in the field of vectors, parasites and populations. I enjoy working with anthropologists, sociologists and epidemiologists, as well as parasitologists, and embracing this interdisciplinary approach.

 

“I believe in the concept of ‘One Health’
and therefore work to improve the collaboration
between human and veterinary medicine in order to
manage public health problems more efficiently.”
 
Yao Kouamé Kan Serge Alain

 

Optimal Learning to Support Public Health

I want to use my knowledge to help people who suffer from health problems. To achieve this, I will give my best, participate in major research projects and learn from the best entomologists in the world. I have big dreams for my country in relation to public health. For example, I would like to see good control and monitoring of food products to prevent the consumption of infested products. I also dream of better equipped hospitals with improved working conditions and good protocols for cleanliness and sanitation. 

 Yao Kouamé Kan Serge Alain, master student in Medical and veterinary Entomology at the Université Alassane Ouat tara, Ivory Coast
Credit: Yao Kouamé Kan Serge Alain, Bayer AG

In addition, I plan to set up an effective household waste management system. It is important to remember that waste is a great danger to public health, as it is a source of pollution and cause of respiratory diseases. I will organize regular garbage collection, recycling and composting and thereby reduce waste, minimize pollution, preserve our environment and protect public health. Currently, I have a large project that aims to establish a surveillance and vector control structure. This project will focus on reducing the phenomenon of insecticide resistance.

 

 

Malaria Fighter

Marième Gueye, doctoral student in medical entomology at the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal
Credit: Marième Gueye, Bayer AG

 

Marième Gueye is a doctoral student in medical entomology at the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal. Convinced that malaria is preventable and curable, she is following a direct path to fight it. 


When I had to pick my specialization at university, I did not hesitate – I chose entomology. Studying at the Cheikh Anta Diop University in Dakar, I had the opportunity to be supervised by the famous Dr. Ibrahima Dia. He supported my research, which was focused on the evaluation of insecticide-based vector control tools and the discovery of solutions to reduce the resistance of vectors to insecticides. Based on my research and passion for entomology, I dream of being among the most brilliant entomologists. My hope is also that the Senegalese government will recognize the need for more specialists within the civil service and recruit more young entomologists. One cannot talk about malaria eradication without talking with entomologists.  

Vector Control Requires Knowing the Enemy

To fight a disease-transmitting vector, you first have to know it better – that is what we entomologists do. To explain my passion for this research area, I have to start with the story of my childhood. Growing up in a small town in Senegal, I was living with my foster father, a housewife mother and my older sister. When I got older, I moved to Thiès, a region near Dakar, where my father’s nephew took care of me. Samba Gnom, my father’s nephew, was the nurse-general of the Pest Control Service of Thiès and known for his expertise in malaria treatment. He was always there for me, especially after my father died.

 

“One of my dearest wishes is
to be among the most brilliant entomologists,
to try to find a solution to fight malaria.”

Marième Gueye

 

Starting a Career as an Entomologist

During these years, I had the possibility to accompany Samba at work. That’s what inspired me, when I, too, started to study and work in a lab. At work, Samba had a lot of malaria cases, which made me grow up in close relation with this disease. In the winter, the medical service was packed. The patients settled everywhere: Mats here, and mattresses there. Their sighs of pain were heard from morning to night. 

Marième Gueye, doctoral student in medical entomology at the Cheikh Anta Diop University (UCAD) in Dakar, Senegal
Credit: Marième Gueye, Bayer AG

Papa Samba’s boss was the internationally renowned Professor Ousmane Faye, who coordinated all activities and organized workshops and seminars. I had the possibility to visit training workshops in entomology and vector control and to accompany the field training team of the Section de Lutte Antiparasitaire (SLAP), which is part of Senegal’s Ministry of Health and Prevention. These seminars gave me the opportunity to work with other noted entomologists like Dr. Abdoulaye Diop, Father Alioune Gueye and Moussa Diagne. 

Today, our common focus is to identify vectors, know where to find them and how to neutralize them. I wish that one day we will make it possible to eliminate the burden of malaria for our beloved continent.

 


Rewarded Leader for Vector Control

Abdoulaye Kane Dia, National Reference Laboratory for National Malaria Control Program, Senegal
Credit: Abdoulaye Kane Dia, Bayer AG

 

Abdoulaye Kane Dia conducts research on malaria vectors at the National Reference Laboratory for National Malaria Control Programs in Senegal. Additionally, he supervises new students and provides courses on the monitoring and evaluation of entomological tests. 

For as long as I can remember, I have had a passion for science and travel. Still, my parents had to encourage me to join the Boy Scouts in my hometown. From the other boys, who were from different generations and backgrounds, I learned the significance of family and a sense of sharing. After receiving my high school diploma, I pursued my studies at the Natural Sciences Department at University Cheikh Anta Diop of Dakar (UCAD/The University of Dakar). 

Ever since my time in the Boy Scouts, I have loved trying out new things. This is why I enrolled in the master’s degree research program in Animal Biology and Entomology, where I graduated in 2012. Throughout my academic career, I have been lauded with multiple distinctions, such as the first national prize for Excellence of Collegians in Life and Earth Sciences in 2004.

 

"I will become a world-leading expert
in Medical Entomology and integrate a public health
network 
to fight all insect-transmitted pathogens.“

Abdoulaye Kane Dia

Following an Ambitious Research Path

After earning my master’s degree, I pursued a doctoral thesis at the “Laboratoire d’Écologie Vectorielle et Parasitaire (LEVP)” – the national reference laboratory for national malaria control programs in Senegal, where I have also been a graduate researcher. There, I engage in activities like monitoring and evaluation tools deployed to fight mosquito vectors of malaria and to monitor the dynamics of disease transmission at Senegal’s sentinel sites.

In addition to my research, I supervise new master’s students and collaborate with international scientists. Since 2015, I have been providing courses in Monitoring and Evaluation Entomological test of World Health Organization to new officer students of “Service National d’Hygiène” at the Ecole Nationale de Développement Sanitaire et Social. 

Abdoulaye Kane Dia collects samples for his research
Credit:Abdoulaye Kane Dia, Bayer AG


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