D43 Injury Research Training Program

It was another great training for the Botswana D43 Injury Research Training Program. Approaching year 4 of a 5-year grant of the Fogarty International Center, the D43 trainees are well on their way to success. While our current cohort of Independent Investigators, Thapelo Selaelo, Olorato Mathiba, and Tzedza Matenge stayed at Penn as they complete the Master of Science in Clinical Epidemiology (MSCE) program, a few of us traveled far to engage with our in-country investigators in a one-week intensive training on data management and analysis. The main objective of the training was to build capacity among trainees to understand how to work with, apply, and disseminate data that have widespread application on policy and practice decisions.

The training kicked off with a social gathering in Pilane Court where trainees had the chance to interact with each other, as well as with staff and leadership from the Penn Injury Science Center (PISC) and the Botswana UPenn Partnership (BUP). Attendees included: Douglas Wiebe, PI and PISC Director, who cooked a fabulous lentil stew; Sara Solomon, PISC Deputy Director, who dazzled trainees with chocolate covered strawberries; Tebogo Koroneo an Independent D43 Investigator from the 2nd cohort; and all of the D43 Associate Investigators: Emang Mautle, Paul Motshome, Lydia Masilo-Nkhoma, Othusitse Fane, Tlhabano Mmusi, and our latest recruit Botsile Kuiperij who brought some yummy muffins and Doritos! We were thrilled that Dineo Ketshogileng and her colleague Lingani Mbakile-Mahlanza - both librarian and Faculty of Medicine at the University of Botswana (UB) - were able to join, and Dineo even brought homemade mopane worms enjoyed by all. From our partner institution UB, we had Kagiso Ndlovu, (KG) Computer Science Lecturer and Coordinator for the eHealth Research Unit at UB. Corrado Cancedda, BUP Director, applauded the project and work of the trainees. Finally, we were delighted to engage with BUP staff including Liza Rissik (ask me for her delicious Butter Chicken Recipe!), Lindiwe Maidi, and Josephine Rantsiapana. Corrado's wife E-beth Cancedda was an added bonus and shared entertaining stories and adventures from her important work following epidemics.

Early on Monday morning, Associate Investigators and lead trainers Douglas Wiebe and John Holmes reconvened at the UB Conference Center. Sara helped Doug and John prepare for the training by story-boarding the flow of the week. Trainees investigated the epidemiology of motor vehicle crashes using police district data, and applied Haddon’s Matrix to determine prevention activities. A highlight of the training for all was learning how to use STATA:


"Working with STATA for me was very exciting. Using it to bring the data to life and visualize the different patterns of road traffic accidents in Botswana."

~Feb 2020 Trainee


Trainees not only learned to interpret and visualize data, they also discussed the value of identifying key stakeholders and working across silos. The training concluded by identifying the key players to include in a stakeholder engaged process to improve road traffic safety in Botswana. Trainees drafted an issue brief that will be distributed across sectors. Several of the highlights of the training are photo-documented below.

We greatly look forward to continued engagement with trainees through a series of follow-up calls, 1:1 mentoring opportunities, future training in Botswana and at UPenn, and by welcoming our next cohort of Independent Investigators to Penn in July 2020.

For more information on the D43 Injury Research Training Program see: https://www.penninjuryscience.org/copy-of-postdoc-fellowships or contact Sara Solomon at sarasol@upenn.edu.