Our Work

Community Health in Rural Uganda


Mityana, Uganda


June 1, 2017 - August 1, 2017

Project Objectives

In 2008 the Duke Global Health Institute Fieldwork Program partnered with community leaders to complete health collaboration work in central region of Uganda. Sumi Ariely, a DGHI faculty member and Christopher Kigongo, a Ugandan Physician now at Duke Hospital and founder of the Naama Millennium Preparatory School created a partnership to guide dedicated teams of Duke Students who have developed a variety of grassroots on-going community health and development projects.

Communities in this region survive on subsistence farming, fishing, agriculture, and small trade. Since 2008, students have successfully included neighboring communities and developed partnerships with local health professionals, Village Health Teams (VHT)s, and NGOs. Academic assessment projects have included community-based assessments of maternal and child health, nutrition, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, and water/sanitation. Service projects have involved organizing a community health fair that regularly serve over 1000 people/year, psychosocial counseling programs for orphaned and vulnerable children, teaching in schools and microgrant projects. Duke students have taken an active leadership role, and have been able to sustain involvement from one year to the next.

Project Opportunities

Opportunities for engagement with the community will include each participant's engagement with 1-2 of the health assessment and service projects outlined below. After learning about the community and on-going work, students may also propose additional projects for consideration.

Community Health Assessments
1 Maternal, Infant, and Child Health Nutrition and Parasitic Diseases: assessing the burden and risk factors of various conditions (e.g., anemia, malaria, helminthes), and under or over nutrition for specific at risk populations, such as pregnant women, schoolchildren, and infants
2 Non-communicable Diseases: investigating the presence of and risk factors contributing to cardiovascular disease (e.g., hypertension and blood glucose), as well as assessing the factors enhancing practices leading to these chronic illnesses.
3 Communicable Diseases (specifically malaria and gastrointestinal diseases): assessing household knowledge and practices of malaria prevention (2013-2016) and assessing community level access to water, water quality and water treatment practices (2014-2016)

Community Service Projects
1 Advocating for and helping provide education, best care practices, and health care access for the academic projects listed above
2 Community Health Fair - Work with community leaders and health workers to organize and coordinate the provision of health care services and medications to the community
3 Social and Family Support services for orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) - Assistance, evaluation, and development of best care practices for a community-based program to support OVCs through psychosocial counseling, material support, and income-generation projects
4 Microgrant Project - Build upon microgrant pilot from Summer 2014 to develop and support community-proposed project(s)
5 Collaboration with local primary school(s) - Engage in teaching for primary grade students (P1-P7), in subjects such as math, science, and English and build upon the partnership with these schools to continue involvement with students

Project Application Process

  1. Choose a project location that interests you.
  2. Complete the 2016-2017 application.
  3. Send a CV and a copy of your most recent transcript to gh-education@duke.edu
  4. Deadline: October 24, 2016

Project Application Deadline


Project Placements Available


Project Status




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