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24 February 2021

Faculty welcomes first Africa International PhD Scholarship student to King's

Joseph Ngmenesegre Suglo hopes to improve the quality of life for people in Africa living with diabetes.

A drone shot of the vast landscape of Ghana, Accra. Photo by Virgyl Sowah on Unsplash
Joseph Suglo
Joseph Suglo

Joseph Ngmenesegre Suglo is undertaking his PhD research in the Faculty as the first ever recipient of the university’s Africa International PGR Scholarship award. Joseph, who joined the Faculty in October 2020, will spend the next four years researching ways to improve the quality of life for people living with diabetes in Africa by investigating interventions to support the delivery of healthcare in areas where resources are limited.

While at King’s, Joseph, together with his supervisors Professor Jackie Sturt and Dr Kirsty Winkley are working on the development of a prevention framework for diabetic foot ulcers for people living with diabetes in Ghana, where there is a scarcity of healthcare resources.

A diabetic foot ulcer is an open wound or sore on the skin that's slow to heal and be very uncomfortable. They are a common complication arising from diabetic polyneuropathy – when diabetes causes damage to the nerves in the body's extremities, such as the hands, feet, and arms. This nerve damage numbs the area making it easier for people to cut or develop a blister on their feet without realising. It can also reduce the blood supply to the skin on the feet so it receives a lower number of infection-fighting cells, which can mean wounds take longer to heal and can lead to gangrene. In the most serious cases, the result of a foot ulcer can mean amputation.

Joseph’s research project is exploring interventions for diabetic foot ulcers currently being developed or used in practice and investigating potential refinements to these. The project will also evaluate the feasibility and acceptability of conducting a randomised control trial (RCT) for the delivery of an education intervention among diabetes patients in Ghana.

Hopes for my all-important research came alive when I was selected for the Africa International PGR Scholarship. The award is a unique opportunity for students to develop their research potential while contributing to the development of the African continent. Being the first ever recipient of this scholarship for African internationals, was the biggest and most exciting news ever for me.

Joseph Ngmenesegre Suglo, King’s Africa International PGR Scholar

We are delighted to have Joseph undertake his PhD with us as the inaugural recipient of the university’s Africa International PGR Scholarship award. We are excited to see how Joseph’s research will develop and the contribution it will make to the evidence base for improving the quality of life for people living with diabetes in his home country of Ghana.

Dr Wladzia Czuber-Dochan, Faculty Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research Studies

The King’s College London Africa International Postgraduate (PGR) Scholarship supports African nationals undertake interdisciplinary research projects at the intersection of two or more themes relevant to Africa. Applications for 2021-22 are due to open soon. When asked about what advice he would give aspiring applicants, Joseph said:

‘Being a scholarship with a specific focus, I strongly advice applicants to pay close attention to the application essay topics so you provide relevant answers within the word limits. It is very helpful if you get someone to scrutinise the content and presentation style of your application essays and offer you some constructive feedback. It’s really important to start your application preparation early, bearing in mind the eligibility criteria and most importantly the Themes and Disciplines within which your research must be situated.’

You can find out more about funding opportunities at King’s on our funding webpages.