One of the first students to complete the Master of Science in Global Health (MSc-GH) at Duke, Jackie Ndirangu has not slowed down since her graduation in 2010.
Twenty years after founding Family Health Ministries, a non-profit health organization in Haiti, associate global health professor and OB/GYN physician David Walmer and his wife, adjunct associate professor Katherine Walmer, have extended their efforts to fight cervical cancer through Haiti sans Cervical Cancer, a non-profit organization they co-founded that has helped bring together some of the world’s foremost NGOs to revolutionize cervical cancer care in the country.
Twenty-five DGHI-affiliated authors—including faculty, staff and alumni—recently shared new discoveries on a variety of global health topics in peer-reviewed publications.
“One of the biggest challenges in our fieldwork experience has also been one of the most rewarding elements—balancing leading and following,” the members of one 2016 student research team reflected after the community health fair they’d helped organize in Naama, Uganda, had been deemed a success by all.
Last week, the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) convened 25 of its international collaborators for a partnership conference held in conjunction with our 10th anniversary symposium.
Post-doctoral fellow Bonnie Kaiser joined the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) last August after completing a doctorate in anthropology and a master’s in public health in epidemiology at Emory University. Kaiser conducts global mental health research with a focus on cultural aspects of measurement, communication and intervention design, and it was DGHI’s growing global mental health initiative—along with her long-standing collaboration with DGHI faculty members Brandon Kohrt and Deborah Jenson—that drew her to Duke.
To call David Walmer modest would be an understatement. The Duke associate professor of global health who works as a reproductive endocrinologist is fond of saying, “I am completely unqualified to be doing anything that we’re doing here (in Haiti).” But what Walmer has built—together with his indefatigable wife, Kathy Walmer, an adjunct professor at Duke—is nothing short of remarkable. On February 20, the Walmers and more than 100 people celebrated the dedication of FHM’s new 4,000-square foot Carmelle Voltaire Women’s Health Center.
David Walmer, associate global health professor at the Duke Global Health Institute, has long been struck by the alarmingly high incidence of cervical cancer in Haiti, despite the fact that it is highly preventable. The death rate from cervical cancer in Haiti is 30 times higher than that in the United States. Through his 20+ years of cervical cancer research, Walmer has learned that the annual Pap smears that women take for granted in the U.S.—which screen for pre-cancerous changes to a women’s cervix—aren’t considered the gold standard in Haiti.
In 2009, Max Kligerman was a junior majoring in international relations when he joined one of the first Duke Engage teams and traveled to Haiti for the first time. That summer in Haiti not only led him to pursue a certificate in global health to go along with his major, but it also, he says, “sealed the deal” for him to go on to medical school after graduation from Duke in 2011.
Lily Zerihun knew even before her college career that she wanted to work in the world of global health. A senior from Greensboro, North Carolina, she’s majoring in biology and global health, minoring in cultural anthropology and completing the pre-medical school track. When asked why she chose this combination of subjects, she replied, “I saw global health as a way of bridging all the other disciplines I was interested in—like biology, anthropology and sociology. You don’t have to choose just one; you can bring them together and apply them to do something tangible for a community.”