London Connection Q&A: Nawa Mabuku

Zambian graduate Nawa Mabuku shares his experiences of studying the MSc Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health
Nawa Mabuku, graduate from Zambia
"This programme was very much linked to my job.": Nawa Mabuku
It feels great to be part of this community and I wish to make the best of it

Congratulations on graduating with an MSc in Veterinary Epidemiology and Public Health! Why did you choose this programme?
I chose to study with the University of London and Royal Veterinary College (RVC) because I have met a lot of colleagues who have been to this university and I admired their work. The name of the university carries a lot of prestige.  I was also very privileged to be awarded a scholarship from the Commonwealth Commission.

How did you find the programme? Did you enjoy your studies?
Well, the programme was quite challenging at first, but I did adjust and it became very interesting.  I could say that I became equal to the task! I miss it now that I have finished my studies because it became a part of my lifestyle and was also very much related to my work.

Can you please tell us a bit about your work in Zambia?
I provide animal health services under the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock. I treat sick small and large animals, including conducting surgeries such as castrations in dogs, cats and pigs, tail docking in dogs and ovariohysterectomy(spay) in dogs and cats. I also carry out sanitary inspections on farms to determine suitability of the farms to either import or export livestock and livestock products. Another important role I am engaged in is training farmers in improved husbandry techniques as well as good management practices. I also provide professional and technical guidance to technical and administrative staff and interpret laboratory results.

"The name of the university carries a lot of prestige."

In what ways were you able to apply your learnings from the course to your job while you were still a student?
This programme was very much linked to my job. I was able to have a better understanding as to the reason why we were doing things in the way we were doing and I was able to explain animal disease control strategies to stakeholders better than I could do in the past. For instance, why as a country, we were pursuing certain disease control strategies compared to other ones, a case in point being why as a country we had opted to control Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) with vaccination instead of controlling it without vaccination.

Are there any tips that you would give to someone considering taking this degree?
Yes, I would advise that the programme does require you to concentrate as it is quite challenging, but it is manageable. And as you can do other things while you study, I would encourage anyone to take it as you can still continue with your normal life at the same time as learning and progressing your career.

What are your career plans for the future and how do you think your Master's will help you achieve them?
I would like to continue on this path to be an epidemiologist. I have plans to move into an epidemiological unit within the Ministry and I am sure that my Masters will help me with this. Later on, if possible, I wish to do a PhD in the field of Epidemiology and Public Health as I have really enjoyed the programme and I don’t wish for it to end here.

How do you feel to an alumnus of the University of London and RVC?
It feels great to be part of this community and I wish to make the best of it. Being at the Graduation Ceremony has been a wonderful experience for me and I am very excited to have graduated in a great course from a great institution.

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