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HOME > PAST ISSUE > July-August 2012 > Article Detail

ESSAY

100 Reasons to Become a Scientist or Engineer

On our 75th anniversary, we collected 75 reasons. Now we've added 25 more

The Editors

84
Julie Makani

Working as a doctor, the exposure to illness and death can be overwhelming. Through science, we can search for knowledge that would improve our understanding of health and disease and help us develop sustainable solutions. Working in sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited blood disorder, I am filled with a sense of shame that it is over 100 years since its first description and yet there is only one drug available for treatment. As an African, I am ashamed that looking at the history of scientific discoveries in SCD, there has been minimum contribution from Africa and yet the highest burden of disease is in Africa. Research in SCD, a genetic disease, will change the perception that science in Africa is limited to infections like malaria and HIV. By achieving success in SCD, we can demonstrate how scientific knowledge can be translated into health benefits relevant to the local communities while at the same time generating scientific knowledge that would be of global significance. The exposure to illness and death still overwhelms me, but I continue to work in both medicine and science, as a reminder of how much we need to do and how much we do not know.

Julie Makani

Physician and Research Fellow

Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences and University of Oxford, Tanzania





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