Spring 2012 Student Speaker Conference: Development and Global Health

| 1 Comment
This spring's iteration of the biannual IPID Student Speaker Conference will take place on Friday, April 6 from 3-7pm in Walter Library Room 101.  This semester's theme is Development and Global Health, and we have a slate of five student speakers who will give 15-20 minute presenters on a variety of relevant topics.  Each talk will be followed by a brief Q&A session, and after all the speakers have made their presentations, there will be a moderated discussion involving all presenters and audience members.

Following is detailed information on each presenter and presentation.


Self-Reported Morbidity Profile of Diarrheal and Dermatological Diseases in the Municipality of Don Juan, Dominican Republic
Lucy Cosgrove, Julia Shumway, and Marie Wilson (School of Public Health)

This report is a morbidity profile for the self-reported prevalence of dermatological disease in the six bateyes surrounding the Batey Relief Alliance clinic in the Municipality of Don Juan, Dominican Republic (BRA Dominicana). This information comes from a household survey regarding diarrheal and skin diseases we administered to a sample of residents of the La Jagua, Triple Ozoma, El Bosque, Guasumita, AntoncĂ­ and Cinco Casas bateyes.  The survey questions are modeled after the 2007 Dominican Republic Demographic and Health Survey, (Encuesta Domográfica y de Salud) an instrument that is widely used in many countries by the USAID, along with suggestions from the BRA Dominicana medical staff.  We chose to exclude diarrhea from our analysis because our sample contained such a small number of cases that drawing statistically significant conclusions was not possible.  It is not the purpose of this study to prove causality, but rather to supply supportive evidence to the existing knowledge and research BRA has on these diseases.

Lucy Cosgrove is a second year Maternal and Child Health student.  Her main interests lie primarily in early childhood development and prenatal care. She currently works for the Minnesota Department of Health's Immunization Program helping to promote preventative care services for adults. She also enjoys working as a medical interpreter at the University of Minnesota's Phillips Neighborhood Clinic and hopes to continue working with Spanish-speaking families in the future.

Julia Shumway is a second year public health student studying Maternal and Child Epidemiology. Her primary interests lie in maternal and child nutrition, perinatal mental health, and analytical methods. She has worked as a research assistant at the Spatial Core at Minnesota Population Center since Fall 2010. Before attending the University of Minnesota, she worked in environmental epidemiology at the Utah Department of Health.

Marie Wilson is a second year Epidemiology student. She is currently working on a vaccine efficacy study at the Minnesota Department of Health. She is also a graduate assistant in the School of Public Health Division of Health Policy and Management. Marie is passionate about global health and infectious disease epidemiology.

HIV Second Generation Surveillance in Pakistan
Syed Ghazi Ghazan Jamal (Humphrey School of Public Affairs, MPP)

HIV has not yet become an epidemic in Pakistan, but in concentrated pockets the problem is quite severe. What is more worrying is the rate at which it is increasing. Traditionally the problem was limited to drug users (due to the reuse of infected syringes), but now it has spread beyond that group. Due to a lack of job opportunities inside the country, many people leave their homes, families and go to find jobs in the Middle East. It is through this group of people, who get infected when working in the Middle East, when they return to the country that the virus is believed to be spreading. This is particularly worrisome because many of these men are married and infect their wives who stay behind in Pakistan which has led to many children being born with HIV. UNAIDS estimates the number of people living with HIV in the country to be somewhere in the region of 98,400 people. Only around 5,000 of this total number have been registered/identified. This means that if USAIDS estimates are to be believed, 95 percent of the people living with HIV in the country don't even know it!

The HIV Surveillance project is trying to change this situation around with the limited resources that they have. After having very poor results for the first methodology that they applied, there results have greatly improved since making modifications, which what they call the HIV Second Generation Surveillance. I hope to present on how deep the problem is, why is the problem only found in certain pockets, what the first surveillance strategy was, what this second surveillance strategy is and then what the future might look like.

Ghazan Jamal is a first year international student from Pakistan studying Public Policy at the Humphrey School. His concentration area is Disaster and Crisis management and is also doing a minor in Human Rights. His work focuses on providing Humanitarian relief in conflict zones in South Asia and then transitioning such assistance into more sustained culturally appropriate developmental projects.

Water Quality Improvement in Tanzania: Two Disciplines, Three Methods, Four Communities, One Piece of Cloth
Kate Johnston (School of Public Health)

Many communities across the developing world are water insecure due to climate change, natural disaster, or insufficient water systems. Socio-ecological variation means success of generalized approaches varies depending on locale. While communities may desire to increase their adaptive capacity, systemic solutions proposed by national and international agencies are unsuitable for various reasons. Applying three point of use interventions introduced to four Tanzanian communities in 2011, I present a capacity-building strategy approaching technology-based solutions in effectiveness, while remaining minimal in cost, time, effort and raw materials.

Kate Johnston holds two B.A.s in Communications and Women's Studies from the University of St. Catherine. For her undergraduate achievements she was selected to receive the Thomas More Award and the Abigail Quigley McCarthy Award for Leadership. She is currently a second year PHAP student in the School of Public Health, capping 15 years of work in medical organization support.

Leveraging Agriculture for Improved Nutrition
Britta Hansen (Humphrey School of Public Affairs, MDP)

There has and does exist a pervasive assumption that agriculture and production oriented development projects will improve the nutrition of the participants, nutrition outcomes are often included for this reason. However the current literature around agriculture's ability to support improved nutrition and health is less straightforward. Agriculture->nutrition pathways are not direct, there are many biological, social, environmental,  and behavioral  factors that influence impacts on nutrition. Current studies have found mixed results of agricultural interventions ability to positively influence nutrition in poor countries. L. Haddad (2000) has created a conceptual framework that outlines the pathways wherein agriculture is most likely to affect nutrition. This presentation will draw from the work of Haddad, Pinstrup-Anderson and others to explain potential implications for practitioners and outline best practices for organizations and researchers. I will also use examples form my own work in Bolivia on irrigation and agriculture improvements and the nutrition related outcomes.

Britta Hansen is a 2nd year graduate student in International Development Practice at the Humphrey School. Her work focuses on the potential role of agriculture to improve family nutrition and well-being in poor countries. She has lived and worked in Bolivia and Liberia and currently works in program evaluation for rural nutrition programs at the U of M.

Propagation of Community Involvement: A West African Medical Missions Model
Gabriel Schlough (College of Continuing Education)

I hope to discuss present operations and future aspirations of of West African Medical Missions (WAMM) during the IPID Student Conference. WAMM engages international students with a passion to serve in Sierra Leone between the months of May to September annually. Our mission statement is to strengthen existing health capacities in West Africa through community empowerment and civic engagement. Student teams work to address specific goals and objectives set forth by local community leaders in each district they operate in. Our approach utilizes the unique backgrounds each international volunteer can apply towards addressing community health needs, with an emphasis on strengthening through education. Our goal is to create systems with local structures to cultivate leaders within the communities of Sierra Leone, while also providing structured experiences for international volunteers to develop leadership skills. Our long-term vision is to, one day no longer send international volunteers abroad to provide health capacity strengthening, but to have local health leaders in place to provide sustenance to program strengthening activities.

Gabriel Schlough is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities College of Continuing Education. He received an Inter-Disciplinary BS in Anthropology, Public Health, and Health Sciences (Neuroscience). He first traveled to Sierra Leone in 2009 to observe the health care system present and create a volunteer program for international students to assist in strengthening the health of Sierra Leone. Initially he was shocked by the lack of options available for international students to address health disparities abroad with programs that were mutual beneficial for both parties. Since his first trip to Sierra Leone, he created West African Medical Missions Inc. He has been invited to attend the Clinton Global Initiative in 2010, 2011, and 2012 for his work abroad.

Conference Moderator: Erin Collinson (Humphrey School of Public Affairs, MDP)

Erin Collinson moved to Minneapolis in August to pursue a Masters of Development Practice degree. Originally from the Chicago area, she attended Denison University and graduated with a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Erin spent the better part of the last six years working in the U.S. Senate. Her job responsibilities focused primarily on domestic agriculture and environmental policy. This summer, she will team up with three other MDP students to support the capacity building efforts of USAID Senegal.


1 Comment

Providing a professional medical aid for the people from West Africa is a humantiarian chance to help people in need, who had been deprived of the right to receive adequate enough treatment for their diseases. Movers

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by wuxxx917 published on April 2, 2012 1:30 PM.

Spring 2012 Officer Elections: Candidate Bios was the previous entry in this blog.

Fall 2012 IPID Student Speaker Conference on Friday, Nov. 16th is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.