I am very excited to have the opportunity to work in Shinyanga, Tanzania this summer thanks to the support of CGPH! I will assist with a follow-up study that is examining the effects of food and cash transfers on antiretroviral adherence of food-insecure adults living with HIV.
I began working remotely on this study in September 2017, and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to witness it in person and help it progress to the next step. I’ve seen the project move through many phases--from initial conceptualization, to protocol development, to data collection, and now data analysis. I believe that this past year of preparation will set me up for a successful summer! In addition to my role as a research assistant, I have prepared by taking Swahili lessons and by forming virtual relationships with the local team. I am very excited to continue developing these relationships, to expand my leadership role, and to grow my analysis skills as an Epidemiologist.
Epidemiology & Biostatistics MPH Student
Today I am boarding a flight to Beirut, Lebanon, once hailed by the world as the “Paris of the East” for its booming tourism industry, now better known for the one million Syrian and Palestinian refugees it shelters and grants asylum. Today marks the beginning of a three-month project seeking to illustrate local trends of uropathogenic E. coli antimicrobial resistance present among Syrian refugees, Palestinian refugees, and Lebanese natives living in Burj al-Barajneh refugee neighborhood. Compiling these profiles of resistance will hopefully assist local healthcare officials in guiding treatment regimens of UTI patients to avoid exacerbating resistance, in addition to shedding light on the genotypes associated with resistance amongst E. coli strains in the Middle East. This information represents a critical addition to combatting the growing prevalence of antibiotic resistance in the region.
To prepare myself for this project I am listening exclusively to Arabic podcasts and news reports in the Lebanese dialect to immerse myself fully in the language. Polishing my Arabic language ability will be crucial for engaging with refugees in a culturally-sensitive and appropriate manner. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work in Lebanon alongside a local university in central Beirut, the American University of Science and Technology, which houses some of the leading minds in investigating communicable disease among local refugee populations. I know that this experience will educate me beyond any expectation, and will challenge me both intellectually and emotionally.
MPH Student in Infectious Diseases and Vaccinology