This week staff from LSTM’s National Insitute for Health Research Group on the Prevention and Management of HIV-infection, Diabetes and Hypertension took their research to the Science and Industry Museum as part of a Royal Society Platform for Investigators.
Prof Shabbar Jaffar, Head of International Public Health, Hazel Snell and Dr Tinevimbo Shiri, engaged with the museum audience about their research on the prevention and management of HIV-infection, diabetes and hypertension in Africa; highlighting how non-communicable diseases will overtake infectious diseases in impact and burden on communities in low to middle income countries.
The team had a variety of interactive hands-on demonstrations to engage with the audience including the very young and adults. The audience were tasked with investigating the sugar content of various popular soft drinks and breakfast foods and the impact of long-term high blood sugar on the body and the consequences of Type 2 diabetes. The audience also heard about the global challenge that non-communicable diseases was having especially in a poor resource setting and how the research team is working in Tanzania and Uganda to provide the evidence for policy-makers to improve the diagnosis, treatment and management of these diseases. Comparisons were made by the public to their experiences living with diabetes and hypertension in the UK.
Shabbar said of attending the festival: “The Science and Industry Museum always deliver fantastic science events for children and families in the region, and it was an honour to be invited to take part in this Royal Society event. Older members of the audience were keen to discuss our work across Tanzania and Uganda in developing new guidelines for improving care for non-communicable diseases. Taking part in such events is important in breaking down barriers between LSTM and local communities and to inspire the potential scientists of the future about our work.”