Pearson M’modzi, Community Educator/Recruiter
Lilongwe CRS, Lilongwe, Malawi
“For any recruitment process to be successful, instilling the spirit of community ownership amongst the participants is an integral element”, says M’modzi as he prepares for one of his daily errands of engaging potential participants and communities in general. Pearson M’modzi, himself a recruiter, believes community engagement is central to any study. M’modzi has been working with the Lilongwe, Malawi CRS for the past 12 years, primarily focusing on engaging communities and stakeholders, and notes that increasing research literacy in the communities he works with is a passion of his. M’modzi notes that engaging communities should not only be during the time of recruitment – it should be in preparation, throughout the period of study and after. HVTN is very helpful whenever there is a study; the educational and giveaway materials make his work easier and exciting, especially with so many youth interested in HIV vaccine research in the region.
M’modzi holds a Bachelor of Science in Public Health as well as a Diploma in Community Development, and looks forward to start pursuing a Master’s degree. M’modzi first started working with HVTN in 2014 as the site was beginning HVTN 111, and is now involved in the AMP Study and HVTN 705. M’modzi states, “I enjoys doing this work with HVTN, learning so much from the team and my colleagues from the sites all over the world, especially knowing that we are doing all this for a common cause.”