06 August 2021 | Story André Damons | Photo Charl Devenish
Sherry-Allan Jacobs is an operational logistic officer at the South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL) and believes making an impact in helping to prevent drug misuse in sports is one of the most interesting aspects about the field of Anti-Doping Science.

The South African Doping Control Laboratory (SADoCoL), the only World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-accredited laboratory in Africa and which is located at the University of the Free State (UFS), mostly consist of women – each with an important role they play in keeping this unit in formation.

For one of these women, Sherry-Allan Jacobs, an operational logistic officer, making an impact in helping to prevent drug misuse in sports is one of the most interesting aspects about the field of Anti-Doping Science. 

If you apply you mind to it anything is possible 

Jacobs, whose daily responsibilities includes receipt and opening of sample shipments and entering sample information into database, preparation of analytical batches, believes the possibilities for women in science are endless. If you apply your mind to it anything is possible, says Jacobs who is also handles queries to/from clients and reporting of results to clients.

Like every work environment, this job comes with its own challenges – especially since the Olympic Games are currently taking place in Japan and SADoCoL has a role to play in testing athletes samples from Africa.

“I think in every work environment, there are challenges which can be resolved by staying calm and just do the work to the best of my ability. The Olympic Games are a wonderful opportunity for athletes to showcase their talent and also bringing work to countries and generating business. For us as a unit, we stay positive and move forward with the work,” says Jacobs. 

The country still has a long way to go

By doing her utmost to be a better version of herself for the people around her in her personal and work life, Jacobs believe, she adds value as a woman to her community and scientist. 

With August being women’s month, Jacobs says the country has a long way to go. “Gender-based violence (GBV) is still a big issue in the country. Another issue (we are battling currently) is the COVID-19 pandemic as women's lives are at risk for the mere fact that most frontline workers are women.” 

According to Jacobs these challenges can be addressed by punishing the perpetrators who commits these heinous crimes of GBV while the law does its utmost best to protect women against this crime. To protect frontline workers, says Jacobs, each person should do their part in the fight against the virus. 

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