VinUniversity students travel to South Africa for research: “Such a great opportunity to extend our horizons!”

September 7, 2022

Three VinUniversity students from the College of Health Sciences, including Nguyen Thi My Hao and Dang Huu Thien, students of the Medical Doctor program, and Le Phan Khanh Huy, a student of the Bachelor of Nursing programs are presently on a research trip at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA). This is also the center where Professor Salim S. Abdool Karim, Member of the Royal Society and Laureate of the inaugural VinFuture Prize season, is the current Director.

This trip is within the framework of the cooperation agreement between the VinUniversity’s College of Health Sciences (CHS) and CAPRISA. Accordingly, on an annual basis, three CHS students are offered the opportunity to visit CAPRISA for training and research purposes for the course of 2-3 weeks, with all related research, training and accommodation costs fully sponsored by CAPRISA.

During the trip, CHS students had the opportunity to experience various activities including:

  1. Visiting and working at the four CAPRISA Center Clinical Research Headquarters and hospitals around South Africa;
  2. Meeting and interacting with the Board of Directors, heads of departments, clinicians, scientists, as well as post-doctoral, doctoral and master’s students;
  3. Attending training sessions on overarching theory (Literature Review);
  4. Interacting with students awarded CAPRISA scholarships in South Africa on research projects in the specific field of HIV/AIDS prevention.

The Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa (CAPRISA) is a designated UNAIDS Collaborating Centre for HIV Research and Policy, and is the South African Department of Science and Innovation and the National Research Foundation‘s designated Centre of Excellence in HIV Prevention. After the course of training, research and interaction at the CAPRISA Center, Durban, South Africa, the students have gained their own unforgettable lessons and experiences. Let’s take a look back at the journey of Huu Thien, My Hao and Khanh Huy through their sharing as follows.

“Everybody here has been extremely friendly and wholehearted in supporting us, from the driver, the assistant at the electronics shop where we bought our SIM cards, to the “brothers and sisters” in the house we stayed in. At CAPRISA, we got to meet a lot of wonderful people, from professors, senior scientists to students. Everyone has been so enthusiastic and dedicated to the research they are doing that it made me highly respect them and feel deeply inspired.” Le Phan Khanh Huy, a student of the VinUni Bachelor of Nursing program.

“This trip has been packed with welcoming activities and meaningful meetings with scientists, statisticians, as well as master’s, PhD and medical students. Despite the busy schedule, this is still such an eye-opening opportunity for me and my peers! The discussions made me reflect on myself, reflect on my responsibilities as a medical student in cultivating more knowledge not only about medicine, but also on statistics to understand research results in scientific reports.” Nguyen Thi My Hao, student of VinUniversity’s Medical Doctor program.

“I am very grateful to VinUniversity and CAPRISA for designing this trip and giving me the opportunity to experience and discover exciting and meaningful things. Although the trip is not over yet, I have had experiences that have opened my eyes about how people in South Africa are practicing medicine. I learned a lot about HIV/AIDS, not only in terms of foundational theory but also on more in-depth and comprehensive aspects.” – revealed Dang Huu Thien, a VinUniversity student of the Medical Doctor program.