Our Work

Community Health in Rural Uganda


Mityana, Mityana District, Uganda


June 01, 2018 - August 01, 2018

Project Objectives

For 10 years, since 2008 the Duke Global Health Institute Fieldwork Program has 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 to develop a variety of grassroots on-going community health and development projects.

Communities in this region typically survive on subsistence farming, fishing, agriculture, and small trade. Since the inception of this work, students have successfully worked with neighboring communities, local health professionals, Village Health Teams (VHT)s, and NGOs to assess health needs, community perceptions of various health determinants, and potential solutions. Academic projects have included community-based assessments of maternal and child health, nutrition, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disease, and water/sanitation. Need-based assessments have led to sponsored service projects such as a piped water micro grant project, community garden, a yearly community health fair regularly serving over 1000 people/event, psychosocial counseling for orphaned and vulnerable children (COPE), teaching in schools, and supporting educational needs as identified through collaboration with local leadership. Duke students have taken an active leadership role, and have been able to sustain involvement from one year to the next.

Project Opportunities

In this culminating year, students will have the opportunity to support the final transition of key health projects implemented over the past nine years. Students will engage with the community in 1-2 of the health assessment and service projects outlined below. After learning about past work and current needs, students may also propose additional projects for consideration by the community.

Community Health Assessments
• Maternal, Infant, Child, and young adult Health Nutrition: assessing the burden of malnutrition in various at risk populations, such as pregnant women, infants, and primary and secondary schoolchildren and supporting transition of assessment to local clinics.
• Non-communicable Diseases: investigating the prevalence of risk factors contributing to cardiovascular disease in different groups, as well as working with local leadership to continue supporting and educating communities on factors leading to heart disease.
• Communicable Diseases (specifically water and sanitation practices): continuing education and assessment on interventions improving knowledge about and access to clean water.

Community Service Projects
• Advocating for and helping provide education, best care practices, and health care access for the academic projects listed above
• Community Health Fair - Working with community leaders and health workers to develop process for continuing to organize and coordinate the provision of health care services and medications to the community
• Social and Family Support services for orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) — Documentation of the Assistance, evaluation, and development of best care practices for COPE, a community-based program supporting OVCs through psycho-social counseling, material support, and income-generation projects

* Collaboration with local primary school(s) - Engage local NGOs to support teacher training and professional development for primary and secondary grade schools that Duke teams have been partnering with.

Project Application Process

Students must fill out and submit a project application, CV and recent transcript to GH-Education@duke.edu by October 15, 2017. Students may apply to no more than two project opportunities and a separate application must be completed for each SRT project site. The scheduled interviews for this project location will take place during the week of November 1. Any questions regarding the application, interview dates or general project information should be directed to Lysa MacKeen.

Project Application Deadline


Project Placements Available


Project Status



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