Scholar’s Bid to Curb Lifestyle Diseases

AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project is a Joint Initiative involving JKUAT, PAUSTI and JICA.  In line with one of the project’s goals, to develop human resources for industry development in the area of Science, Technology and Innovation, the project undertakes long term training for JKUAT staff in Japanese universities, through the JICA long term PhD fellowships. The project was a response to the recognition that scientific and technological knowledge was crucial to socio-economic transformation of African economies.

Ms. Sachiko Oda, the Project coordinator at AFRICA-ai-JAPAN Project, talked to with Ms. Teresiah Muhomah, a beneficiary of JICA long term training in Japan in the field of Animal/Food Nutrition, on her work leading to attain a PhD in Okayama University.

Ms. Sachiko: What motivated you to study a PhD? 

Ms. Muhomah: I aspired to do my PhD in order to horn my research and critical thinking skills. As a lecturer and researcher, I need to acquire this competence so as to not only carry out my work efficiently but also in order to adequately train other young and upcoming researchers in Kenya.

Why did you decide to apply for PhD program in Japan?

Japan is renowned for its application of the latest and advanced technology in problem solving. This greatly motivated me to pursue opportunities of studying in Japan.

How do you find studying in Okayama University? How is it different from studying in Kenya? (In terms of school environment, teaching method, etc.)

Studying in Okayama university has been a rich experience. The one on one lecturer~ student instruction is one distinct difference between studying in Kenya and in Japan.

​Another very critical aspect is the availability of all resources to enable one to efficiently conduct ​his/her research. Mode of instruction begins from the ​very ​basic ​level ​transiting to intensive research seamlessly​, such that in spite of one’s previous educational background, one is able to quickly learn and adapt​. The school environment also instils the Japanese work ethic, while at the same time enabling ​growth by learning in a multicultural context.

What is your goal after completing your PhD program?  

My goal is to apply the skills and knowledge I have acquired in prevention and management of obesity, diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. I also hope to have an opportunity to work with young people and mentor them, passing on the competence I have acquired in Japan.