The Sunday Mail
Maria Terere Form 4 Mufakose 2 Secondary School
Have you ever wondered what most students in the biomedical field desire to pursue after their advanced level education? About 75% of Advanced Level students who study Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Mathematics and Computer Science desire to pursue Medicine, Engineering, Pharmacy or electro-mechanics .Why is this so? Why can they not follow other paths?
Well according to the research that has been made by scientists the major reason behind their decisions is because students live up to their parents’ expectations or it is because they are generally ignorant of the exciting careers out there in the biotechnological field which can make life a whole lot easier for them. There is more to life than just becoming a general practitioner or an engineer .There is great competition as everyone is striving to become a doctor resulting in the shortage of job sand unpaid salaries. Of course we need to live up to our dreams, making our dreams bold and exciting, nonetheless we need to think outside the box and consider other careers in the biomedical field.
Zimbabwe needs young scientists in this era who are able to make considerable scientific researches rather than studying what has already been discovered by other great scientists. Students need to be involved in the systematic investigation and study of materials and resources in the biomedical field.
Young scientists need to be involved in the fourth generation degree programs such as toxicogenomics rather than first generation careers which are now ancient and have been done over the years by a multitude of students. Get me right, this article is not meant to discourage students from pursuing ordinary biomedical options, but in order for us to take Zimbabwe to a higher level, students need to be involved in more scientific researches in a practical aspect, making discoveries and new inventions on their own and be able to compete with the western scientists.
As I have mentioned earlier on, there are vast degree options in the biomedical field which are classified as fourth generation careers. If one is interested in Mathematics and Biology one could study Biostatistics. An interest in Biology and Chemistry could lead one into practicing Biochemistry and Biotoxicology.
If one is good at Biology and Computers they could study toxicogenetics, Molecular Biology, Molecular pharmacology and Biochemical pharmacology. Developing a liking in Physics can lead one to study Nanomedicine, Pharmacogenomics, Toxicogenomics or genomic (molecular) medicine. Students can also study forensic science for example, on March 24 this year there was a workshop which was held at Conexus school under the African Institute of Biomedical Science and Technology which was coordinated by Professor Masimirembwa. There were demonstrations on DNA amplification such as the identification of dead bodies after a car accident.
As Africa we remain undeveloped because 10% of our resources are invested in scientific researches whereas 90% of researches are done in Western and Asian nations leading to their development.
Take for example in India they have developed medical facilities because they perform in biomedical technology making it scientifically and economically sound.
In Zimbabwe the majority is still practicing first world degree programs whereas in developed countries they have already resorted to fourth generation degrees. Africa needs to be involved in biotechnology in order to improve the quality of life and ensure it is up to standard thus improving the life expectancy rate. That is the change we need in Africa, the real change we need in Zimbabwe. Take for example Albert Einstein who discovered the photoelectric effect of current, Bill Gates who invented the Microsoft Operating system. That is the kind of change we need in Africa. When is the day we are going to hear of new scientists in Zimbabwe who are involved in the inauguration of new inventions that can change, not only Zimbabwe but the world?
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