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Fieldwork Experiences

October 09, 2008

Alex Ahearn worked in the Wake County Tuberculosis Clinic of Raleigh administering to patients under the supervision of Dr. Jason Stout.  Alex managed two research projects, including GIS mapping of county-wide TB and STD prevalences and a survey-based study to analyze the demographics and adherence of latent TB patients to free medication. 

Amanda Arthur worked with Barbados Community College and Duke School of Nursing in Barbados.  6 ABSN students participated in a community health rotation.  Students worked in the local Poly Clinics providing public health care to the surrounding population.  Students participated in clinic work, home visits, as well as working with the health inspectors at each poly clinic.

Kimberly Atkins spent the summer conducting interviews to gain an insight into the world views, spiritual, religion and/or traditional beliefs of the people living in Moshi, Tanzania. This information was presented to KIWAKKUKI so as to aid them in their community based efforts and enhance the services they offer.

Joel Boggan worked with Family Health Ministries, a local NGO, to perform nutritional measurements on children in the Terre Noir neighborhood of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, in the summer of 2007.  Additionally, he worked with the organization on patient record development and pharmacy inventory planning for a clinic opened in December 2006.  In this setting, he employed GIS technology to map the community and assess variations in nutritional status.

Ninita Brown participated in a 5 week ophthalmology elective with Unite for Sight in New Delphi and Patna, India. During the elective, she volunteered in both free mobile clinics and an eye hospital. She also received training on determining refractive error and eye disease

Working in epidemiologist Dr. Ooi Eng Eong and principle investigator Subhash Vasudevan’s labs from the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, Tammy Chin took to gaining a better understanding of the genomic structure of the Dengue flavivirus, a prevailing virus in Southeast Asia. Tammy found the optimal method for gene sequencing preparation which will enable 51 Puerto Rican strains of Dengue 2 to be sequenced, and lab members will apply the complete sequencing toward Dengue Fever therapeutics research.

During the summer, Petrina Craine worked as a clinical volunteer at the Centre Medico-Sociale Adidogomé, a comprehensive multi-service medical facility located in Lomé, Togo that offers services in vaccinations, general health care, women?s health, HIV/AIDS testing and counseling, physical therapy, and child welfare. During her work as a volunteer, Petrina assisted with various needs of the clinic, such as blood pressure monitoring and tuberculosis testing, and she also implemented a prevention education project deemed at counseling and educating school age children and their parents about minimizing their risks of being infected with parasitic worms and sexually transmitted diseases.

This summer, Jessica Freifeld spent ten weeks in Washington, DC, interning in the Policy & Advocacy Department at PATH, a non-profit global health organization dedicated to improving he health of people around the world by advancing technologies, strengthening systems, and encouraging healthy behaviors.  Throughout the course of her internship, Jessica tracked key pieces of global health legislation, provided research support for the innovative financing and regulatory working groups of the Global Health Technologies Coalition and for groups working to prepare grant proposals, and co-authored press releases detailing the organization’s opinions on policy issues. 

Jessica Green went to Rwanda to conduct interviews with aids and genocide orphans.  The orphans they interviewed participated in a sustainable living program that ZOE created.  The interviews fulminated into data that demonstrates ZOE Ministries success over the past 3 years.

Youngjoo Ha worked with Bethlehem Children’s Home and Gorioul Youth Center in South Korea to promote diversity and to end stigmatization towards biracial children through an educational summer camp in an ethically homogeneous society.  In addition to the summer camp, she helped the organizations protect the children’s health by translating a resource manual on infant health for mothers.  She also analyzed different factors that threaten the health of biracial children and proposed a plan to protect and to support them.

As part of the Service Opportunities in Leadership Program (SOL), Cate Harding spent her summer working with KIWAKKUKI (A grassroots women’s AIDS NGO) to conduct a project focusing on the world views, spiritual, religious, and/or traditional beliefs of people living in Moshi, Tanzania. This research was presented to the organization and will hopefully allow KIWAKKUKI to integrate the concepts into the community based efforts and services they offer.

This summer, Tara Elizabeth Hopkins did a community-based research project with a case de santé (a small clinic) in the mountains of northern Togo.  She worked with her community partner to investigate the greatest health care needs, particularly birthing and pre-natal care needs, for the people of the village of Kuwdé.  They sought to understand how the case de santé could adapt its operations to better serve the unique needs of its rural, mountain community.

In the religious country of Tanzania, Christian, Muslim, and traditional African practices influence in explanations of mental illness and methods for its treatment.  Georgia Hoyler is part of an undergraduate team who researched this relationship through qualitative interviews with Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center’s Schizophrenic outpatients, their family members, and the area’s mental health clinicians and religious leaders.  Reflections on the experience and next steps are discussed.

This past summer, Helen Jiang worked on a health project at The Dandelion Middle School, the only legally registered middle school for migrant children in Beijing, China.  Helen’s project focused on promoting basic health habits, primarily hand washing and nutrition, among the students.  In addition, she developed a teacher health survey in order to identify teacher health needs and areas where support and education could help improve teacher health, and in turn, student health.

Shikha Kapil spent the summer in New Delhi, India worked with a NGO called Sahara House. This particular NGO works with injecting drug users and also treats various conditions that result from the drug use. Students worked at a number of project sites around the city, and this particular student was placed in the women and children’s care home where she conducted STI and HIV/AIDS counseling sessions and a modified microfinance program with the clients.

A nursing student from the University of North Carolina, Desireé Lagrappe spent one month in Bangalore, India volunteering at Bangalore Baptist Hospital.  From there, she traveled to Arusha, Tanzania and joined the IT initiative of The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania where she volunteered at St.  Elizabeth’s Hospital assisting with nursing care and teaching basic computer skills.  Hoping to have a nursing career abroad, through her trip, Desireé began drawing connections between nursing care in the United States, rapidly developing India, and Tanzania.

Sophie Lehman worked with the National Democratic Institute - Nepal based in Kathmandu, Nepal.  She worked on a number of projects including a political party reform program, the launch of the Women’s Leadership Academy, ongoing collaboration with the World Food Program on a civic education program, and educational programs on the Karnali, one of Nepal’s poorest regions. Sophie’s work sought to explore the role and importance of Nepal’s changing political environment on health in the country.

Tamara Louie worked at Mulago Hospital, the only public hospital in Kampala, Uganda.  She evaluated the state of the medical equipment at the hospital, organized a list of functioning and nonfunctioning equipment, did troubleshooting of possible errors, and then helped repair the devices and did further troubleshooting if errors still occurred.  She performed the fieldwork in conjunction with the Mulago-Duke Neurosurgical Team.

Amanda Magli volunteered for the Engineering World Health Summer Institute.  She worked in a developing hospital in Trujillo, Honduras fixing biomedical equipment.

Working with the University of Western Cape at the Masiphakame Ngempilo Yethu health club, Sarah Malott and researchers developed a culturally and economically appropriate menu based on the South African dietary guidelines. This process was documented, and an educational tool to address the growing problems of obesity and subsequent non-communicable diseases in urban, low-income settings was created.

Margaret Murray worked in New Delhi, India with Sahara House, a locally based NGO that serves injecting drug users, HIV/AIDS patients, and people from marginalized populations. For 8 weeks, her DukeEngage group lived with the NGO and made friends with their clients and staff. Margaret’s specific project was collecting case studies from different clients and staff there who had gone through drug rehabilitation in hopes of making a collaboration of stories for the NGO.

Kemi Ogundipe served as a research intern for Family Health Ministries for ten weeks in Fondwa, Haiti. During her placement she conducted home surveys, used GPS technology to map homes, and measured heights and weights of children in Sainte Antoine School to investigate spatial and socioeconomic factors that affect the nutritional status of children attending the School.

Jason Pate partnered with AMWAE (an Ecuadorian NGO representing the Waorani people) in order to address the major barriers to maintaining economic and environmental sustainability in an indigenous community.  Specifically, he supported four primary projects ranging from the design and implementation of water catchment and purification systems to a solar panel feasibility assessment study to the construction of community gardens, to a discussion series “charlas” regarding health, environment, gender equality, and economics. This project was the first step in what will become a long-term commitment of Duke Students to working with the Waroani people.

Jovana Pavisic worked with the non-profit organization Juventas in Podgorica, Montenegro with their harm reduction outreach program among injection drug users and sex workers. She helped collect and analyze health and behavioral data from these populations. Additionally, she participated in the outreach work itself, distributing clean needles, condoms, and informational materials explaining healthy behavior.

Maddie Pongor went to Rwanda to conduct interviews with aids and genocide orphans.  The orphans they interviewed participated in a sustainable living program that ZOE created.  The interviews fulminated into data that demonstrates ZOE Ministries success over the past 3 years

Shreya Prasad worked with the Sahara House in New Delhi, India.  Hijras are an institutionalized third gender (transgender) in India and as a highly stigmatized and ostracized community, due to their involvement in sex work, are at risk for acquiring HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Sahara House Centre for Residential Care & Rehabilitation has a site in New Delhi that provides a safe haven and services for hijras. Interviews were conducted at this site to assess levels of HIV/AIDS and STI knowledge, in order to update or create new education programs.

Megan Ramaiya worked in the Central Highlands and Talamanca Coast of Costa Rica to investigate traditional healing practices and beliefs in these areas. She studied with local healers and populations to conduct research on the use of medicinal plants, and made a photo-documentary to help preserve, validate, and humanize the knowledge these healers possess. Her project was under the direction of midwife Rebecca Turecky and her non-profit organization, Asociación Mamasol.

For eight weeks Petra Rasmussen lived with a home stay family and worked in Urubamba, Peru, a small town of 10,000 in the Andean region, for the ProPeru organization through DukeEngage.  While there, she created an original lesson plan in Spanish for teaching Environmental Education which she then taught to first through third grade students and also started an Ecologist Club at one of the schools where she taught.  Petra also worked with the dentists during the ProPeru Health Campaigns in surrounding rural communities. 

Joseph Reardon worked with Proyecto Puentes de Salud, a chronic disease research and service project of UNC—Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Duke University, and Catholic parishes of St. Thomas More (Chapel Hill) and Santa Cruz (Juventino Rosas, Guanajuato, Mexico).  The project offered chronic disease (cholesterol, diabetes, blood pressure, obesity, and depression) screenings in North Carolina and among rural communities of Juventino Rosas, Mexico, as well as informative health “chats.”  Health screening participants were given a comprehensive survey on chronic disease behaviors and risk factors; data analysis is ongoing.

As part of the 2008 DukeEngage program, Zahra Remtulla, seven Duke students and one professor of civil and environmental engineering embarked on an eight-week project to Ghana. Their mission was to spread awareness on how applying excessive fertilizer on the local pineapple farms could pollute community drinking water. Collaborating with the district’s chiefs, water and sanitation board, and agricultural officers, the Duke group interacted with over 40 villages and schools. The students strove to educate communities on the issue, as well as to better understand the underlying determinants of local farming practices. The team also gathered water samples to test for nitrate concentration, observing values as high as five times the WHO limit for safe drinking water.

Saiontoni Sarkar worked with the Sahara House in Delhi, India.  Sahara House works with the marginalized transgender (hijra) population in order to educate them about HIV/AIDS and STIs as well as provide them with psychological and social support.  The psychosocial condition of a transgender population in Delhi, India was studied through a series of interviews.  Topics included HIV/AIDS awareness, depression and self-esteem levels and life history.

Sweta Saxena worked with the Wake Up Pune campaign, to increase awareness about HIV/AIDS in order to decrease the ignorance, the fear, and therefore the stigma and discrimination surrounding people living with HIV/AIDS in Pune, India. The ultimate goal of her ongoing project is to create an HIV/AIDS awareness program for the women living in these slums, specifically concerning MTCT (mother to child transmission) and the stigma and discrimination surrounding HIV+ women reproducing; therefore, she developed an interview for a target population of 100 women (HIV+ and HIV-/unknown status clients) that asked questions related to these issues and she trained community field workers to conduct the interviews.

John M. Stokes worked with the Sahara House.  The Sahara House Transgender Project was a two-month needs assessment of the transgender, or hijra, community in New Delhi, India. Work was coordinated through the local NGO Sahara House, and included ascertaining self-esteem, depression, and STI awareness levels as well as general biographical information about the hijras. It is hoped that with this information, psychological and health education programs can be designed to target and improve the low socioeconomic situation associated with this population.

Ashely Shurley worked with Duke School of Nursing’s Office of Global and Community Health Initiatives (OGACHI), the Barbados Community Colllege and the Barbadian government-run polyclinics to provide a cultural immersion experience for Duke Nursing Students. The two-week clinical rotation fulfilled the students’ community health rotation requirement for the ABSN program. The student nurses worked under the guidance of the public health sisters in the polyclinics and during home visits to expand their knowledge of community health nursing.

Alanna Teng worked to assess the impact of health education on knowledge and attitudes in Uganda.  The project aims to improve the general health of the village community by preventing, controlling, and eventually possibly eliminating the most critical diseases in the village through health and hygiene education. The target audience for the project is the students and families of Naama Millennium Preparatory School in Naama, Uganda. Furthermore, the project aims to create a base of information through which interventions targeting behavior can be studied and made more effective.

Caitlin Thomas was a member of a project team that included Duke University undergraduates and professionals that traveled to Moshi, Tanzania for the summer of 2008 in order to collect data concerning schizophrenia and spiritual coping. The data was attained through qualitative interviews with four distinct subject groups at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center (KCMC). The resulting transcripts were analyzed in order to find common themes that may aid in a better understanding of severe mental illness and coping methods in this region.

Angela Vo worked with Student U in Durham.  She taught sixth graders science and health.  Student U is a Durham, NC based initiative to inspire middle school students to take their education seriously and be excited about it.

As a part of the Engineering World Health Summer Institute, Jordan Yoder worked in a public hospital in Jinotepe, Nicaragua as a biomedical engineer.  The goal of the project was to both fix the out of service medical equipment and to create sustainable engineering solutions to technological inequities in the region.  In the process, it was also hoped that the technological needs of this hospital and others like it could be both identified and addressed.

Tony Zhang studied the perspectives of La Carpio residents regarding healthcare.  This study examined the current health and healthcare situations in La Carpio, from the perspectives of La Carpio residents, and how the health services provided by the CRHF clinic can be improved overall based on this knowledge. This study was done in the Costa Rican Humanitarian Foundation clinic, located in La Carpio, Costa Rica. This study was done through the Service Opportunities in Leadership (SOL) program from the Duke University Public Policy Department.

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