Capacity Building Training for Local Chemists on Gas Analysis

Prof. Gachanja gives his remarks during the training

Over 15 researchers and postgraduate students in chemistry have concluded a one-week training on Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS).

The annual training which was held at Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) from June 21-25, 2021, was aimed at supporting the creation of a self-sustaining science base in Africa to solve local challenges and contribute to global knowledge in the chemical sciences.

Speaking during the culmination of the training, Prof. Anthony Gachanja, who is a lecturer of Analytical and Environmental Chemistry at JKUAT and the lead trainer, underscored the importance of GCMS in pinning data. The training is meant to ensure that the participants are well kitted with hands-on-skills.

Prof Gachanja emphasized the importance of relevant equipment stating, “To produce skilled professionals, the availability of top notch equipment to train them is important. Such avenues will be essential in churning out holistic chemical specialists.”

According to the lead trainer, the training targeted African Chemical Scientists with the aim of making proficient in using this unique technique for analysis.

With the need for proficient professionals in the world today growing in leaps and bounds, Prof. Gachanja urged the participants to utilize the skills learnt to find possible solutions to problems facing society, as scientists’ expertise is crucial “especially in times like now when we are facing a deadly scourge”.

The JKUAT don was appreciative of the stakeholders’ efforts in helping African Research Institutions acquire essential equipment saying the move would ensure Africa becomes independent while undertaking her own data for analysis.

On the impact of the training, Caroline Maina, a second year Analytical Chemistry student from JKUAT lauded the organizers saying, it was informative and insightful. The training, she noted, would equip her with hands on skills that are essential in her career.

The participants display their certificates after the training

“The training will help me sharpen my chemical analytical skills like interpreting the MS spectrum, optimize analysis and maintaining the GCMS machine,” she stated.

Unlike before when it hosted international participants, the training which was sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and Glaxo SmithKline (GSK) under the auspices of the Pan-African Chemistry Network (PACN) saw local scientists like government chemists, students and technologists among others, join this year’s event due to the effects of Covid-19.

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