DGHI Awards Student Grants for Global Health Research and Fieldwork

20 04 2011

The Duke Global Health Institute is pleased to award 14 students with more than $47,000 to support global health research and fieldwork projects in 11 countries this summer. DGHI’s Fieldwork Grants Program enables students to obtain the resources necessary to explore the health disparities facing underserved populations in the US and around the world.

Jori Sheade's 2010 research project in western Kenya focused on nutrition among children.

This is the fourth year DGHI has administered the fieldwork grant program, which so far has supported nearly 80 students. Students will work in conjunction with a community partner to carry out their research or service projects. Many of them will also be blogging about their experience on DGHI’s student fieldwork blog throughout the summer. Upon their return to Duke in the fall, students will present their research findings and reflections at GH TRIPS 2011.

One of the DGHI grantees, Kathleen Ridgeway, has also been selected as the second recipient of The Aalok S. Modi Global Health Fieldwork Fund for her dedication to solving domestic and international health issues. Ridgeway, a Program II major in Global Health, will explore the etiology of the most common diseases in Togo, as well as compare the services and ideologies of clinical practitioners versus traditional healers.

The Aalok S. Modi Global Health Fieldwork Fund aims to empower Duke students to engage in global health research that embodies Aalok Modi’s aspirations and commitment to global health. Modi’s life was tragically cut short in 2008, but it was his life-long dream to pursue a career in medicine and global health. The fieldwork fund is administered by DGHI, and recipients are selected by members of the Modi family, the fundraising committee and Duke faculty members.


Neha Bakhai: (Biology, Global Health Certificate)
Create a Peer Mentor Program Focused on HIV/AIDS Education in Adolescents
This research project, which will be carried out in the rural town of Mwika in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania, will examine the common misconceptions and practices in teenagers about HIV/AIDS, flu and general hygiene. Using the results from the survey, the main goal of the project is to implement a peer mentor system in the community. Students hope that educating the older students and pairing them with younger students will spread knowledge about health issues in the community.

Shaoli Chaudhuri: (English, Biology, Global Health Certificate)
Teenage Health and Empowerment in a Migrant Community
The focus of this project is investigating the health concerns of teenage girls in a Costa Rican immigrant community. Specifically, this will be a service project accompanied with assessments that address the basic and reproductive health needs of young migrant women, most of whom are of Nicaraguan origin. Students will work to address these needs using a health workshop model, with an emphasis on prenatal and preventative care. The aim of the project will be to determine the efficacy of such a health intervention model for the community partner organization, members of the community and beyond. More importantly, students hope this model to empower participants and encourage them to take a more active role in their own health and well-being.

Lisa Deng: (Biology, Global Health Certificate)
Developing a Cost-effective Diabetes Mellitus Screening Program in Jamkhed, India
Diabetes is a major cause of death in most wealthy countries and its prevalence is rising among low- and middle-income nations. Currently, India has the highest absolute number of diabetes cases with 32 million people affected. However, many of these individuals remain undiagnosed, especially those living in rural areas. Deng will work with the Comprehensive Rural Health Project (CRHP) located in Jamkhed, India to address the emergent problem of diabetes in rural villages. The aim of this research will not only be to build capacity in diabetes screening in Jamkhed, but also to inform screening practices in other low-resource settings in the world.

Katherine Donato: (Masters in Economics)
Needs Assessment and Impact Evaluation of Safe Motherhood Initiative
This project is one piece of a larger project carried out by DGHI and the Progressive Health Partnership (PHP) in Kashongi and Kitura, Uganda. Building on work over the past two years, PHP will be implementing a large-scale Safe Motherhood intervention beginning in September 2011. This intervention is partnered with a local health outreach organization and is focused on providing antenatal care, assistance during delivery of babies, and post-birth care. This particular project aims to develop a survey that will be used as a baseline for the large-scale intervention and for gauging the program’s effectiveness over time.

Audrey Hu: (Psychology with Neuroscience, Chemistry)
Assessment of Potential for Self-mediated Improvement in Youth in Naama, Uganda
The purpose of this project is to assess the potential for self-mediated improvement in youth living in Naama, Uganda. Hu will perform an anthropological study, first exploring how youth in Uganda perceive their future potential and limitations. The aim of the project will be investigate and address any distinctions that may exist in the well-being and perceived potential of girls and boys, orphans and non-orphans, and across a set of different age groups. The ultimate goal of this research will be to help community members and leaders identify the factors and tools that can help empower youth and increase social and cognitive skills.

Alexander Kluge: (Cultural Anthropology/Psychology, Education, Global Health Certificate)
Analysis of Differing Food Systems Between Schooled and Non-schooled Households
The purpose of this project is to conduct quantitative measurements on hunger within the Naama, Uganda community. This will lead to qualitative observations about the overall food system established in the community. The goal is to identify and suggest a way in which to increase micronutrient intake as opposed to simple caloric intake.

Christina Lieu: (Psychology and Neuroscience, History)
Access to Health Care for the Uninsured
This project aims to address disparities in health care in the United States. Lieu will be working with Project Access of Durham County (PADC) to increase access to health care for the uninsured and under-insured in Durham community. PADC links low-income patients into a local network of physicians who donate their medical services. This project aims to increase patient membership in the PADC program as well as research how the organization can further extend its reach in the Durham community.

Joy Ogunmuyiwa: (Biology, Global Health Certificate, Art of the Moving Image Certificate)
An Examination of the Health and Well-being of HIV/AIDS Orphaned and Abandoned Children
The aim of this project will be to understand the lives of orphaned and abandoned children in less wealthy nations and the characteristics associated with better child outcomes. Ogunmuyiwa’s work will be carried out in Nagaland and Hyderabad, India; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; Bungoma, Kenya; and Moshi, Tanzania. The project will analyze HIV/AIDS orphaned children’s 1) behavioral and emotional adjustment, 2) learning and development 3) and health outcomes. The research is in collaboration with the Positive Outcomes for Orphans (POFO) study of DGHI’s Center for Health Policy and Inequalities Research and headed by Kathryn Whetten.

Kathleen Ridgeway: *Recipient of the Aalok S. Modi Global Health Fieldwork Fund* (Program II: Psychosocial Determinants of Infectious Disease Outcomes in Global Health)
Explanatory Models of Disease in Kuwdé: Focus on Malaria
This research project aims to explore the etiology of the most common diseases in Kuwdé, Togo, and to fully understand the interactions between the biomedical and local explanatory models of disease in this medically pluralistic community. Traditional medical practitioners constitute a significant proportion of all healthcare providers, and their services may be used alone or in conjunction with clinical practitioners. The primary focus of this project is to evaluate the different modes of explanation employed by the traditional and clinical systems regarding the causation of disease, to identify commonalities and to propose further steps that increase cross-system collaboration and improve health outcomes. Malaria has long been identified as the primary health concern in the community, and therefore this disease will serve as an in-depth case study for the research.

Altelisha Taylor: (Public Policy, Chemistry)
Project HEAL: Women’s Health Initiative (Implementing Research and Service Projects)
The research and service project will be focused on reducing the global health disparities that are prevalent among women in Honduras. The three-part research program in the village of El Porvenir will evaluate methods of family planning among Honduran families through qualitative interviews with Honduran health professionals, women in the rural villages and maternal health organizations. Service projects will be implemented with other members of Project HEAL in collaboration with the organization Honduras Children with the purpose of engaging women in discussion that addresses important issues related to their health. Creative methods will be used to address prevention practices and inspire women to make healthy decisions. The aim of this project will be to educate local communities and governmental organizations about ways to improve maternal health.

Malini Veerappan: (Program II: Global Health Disparities and Development Strategies)
Improving the impact of Global Health Delivery: The Relationship Between Health Care Provider and Patient in Rayavaram, India
This project will investigate the health care provider-patient relationship at an outreach camp project in Rayavaram, Tamil Nadu, India. Clinical staff from Aravind Eye Hospital are sent to the camp site to treat the medically underserved population by providing specialty eye care at a subsidized cost. The project will assess how the doctor-patient relationship differs in specialty vs. general care, subsidized vs. full cost service, and rural vs. urban settings. Veerappan will conduct patient interviews and recording consultations with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of the doctor-patient relationship that can inform strategies to enhance this interaction and improve health outcomes.

Lauren Zalla: (Cultural Anthropology, Global Health Certificate)
Understanding Cultural Beliefs about Breastfeeding in Haiti
This research project will investigate the ways in which cultural beliefs influence breastfeeding in Haiti, and whether there is a need for greater understanding of those beliefs among foreign health professionals who promote breastfeeding as a method of reducing childhood mortality and improving maternal health outcomes. The aim of the project will be to inform healthcare workers who are navigating a new cultural context as they aid in relief efforts and struggle to design effective interventions. The project will be carried out in partnership with DGHI partner Family Health Ministries in the town of Leogane.

Xiaopei Zeng: (Biology/Biochemistry, Chemistry, Global Health Certificate)
Coverage Assessment of Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Interventions in Guizhou, China
This project will seek to understand the coverage level of MNCH interventions in one county of the Guizhou province of China. The data will allow for a better assessment of the effectiveness of the intervention in helping to meet Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) 4 and 5 concerning maternal and child health. There are local policy implications as well as a wider implication in program design of government and NGOs that fund and implement maternal and child health interventions. The hope is that coverage level of the interventions will be high and health outcomes in the county will have improved significantly after the institution of the interventions.

Kan Zhang: (Economics, International Comparative Studies, Global Health Certificate)
Access to Health Care and Health Education for the Uninsured
Through Project Access of Durham County (PADC), an organization that helps uninsured Durham residents receive donated health services, Zhang will work to screen and enroll new patients into the program. In addition, Zhang will be developing a separate project to implement a basic health education program with the goal of helping patients understand and make changes to their diets and lifestyles that can improve their health statuses, and ultimately, reduce the burdens of medical costs.




One response

2 05 2011

That’s really neat! Keep up the good work, can’t wait to hear more.

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