In the first ten days of December, LuxOR (Luxembourg Operational Research Unit) held the third and last module of its first SORT IT (Structured Operational Research Training Initiative) in French, launched in Kinshasa exactly one year ago. The closing module was held in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, where students, coming from five different MSF projects in Francophone Africa and the Caribbean, were supported by their mentors in one of the most challenging parts of a research project: the write up of a research article to be submitted to a peer reviewed scientific journal. A long journey approaches its end, in which participants acquired a set of skills allowing them to exploit project data in depth for a better understanding of their projects. Indeed, MSF staff deciding to engage in operational research do so on the basis of their own reflection related to the challenges they encounter in the projects and that they wish to overcome through an evidence-based approach.
In this edition, three studies were devoted to the analysis of the factors determining the successful management of different types of trauma in different contexts, such as knife trauma in urban violence or gunshot trauma in armed conflicts. Two studies focused instead on advanced HIV management and the often lethal opportunistic infections in positive patients, like cryptococcal disease and tuberculosis, aiming to document MSF’s delivery of diagnostic services and care, and to better understand mortality risks in patients.
While just a few weeks are left before the completion of the SORT IT, in which students will finalize the write up of the articles, their work does not stop here: with support by LuxOR, they will share their findings with their colleagues and partners and jointly develop recommendations to implement in the projects. Surely, their near future also comprises engaging in new research projects to tackle more challenges, as heard directly from them.