Global Health Summer Program Offers Projects in North Carolina, Ghana, India, and Kenya

Student Research Training

Applications are open for the Student Research Training Program, an intensive experiential learning program that engages second- and third-year undergraduate students in the development, implementation, and assessment of a community-based project. This year, students can choose from six projects in Ghana, India, Kenya, and North Carolina. Applications are due October 2, 2018.

Working with a faculty director and a community partner at each site, students will be at the center of global health challenges and have the opportunity to employ skills learned in the classroom for the benefit of the community. Students admitted to the program are expected to make a significant commitment to preparing for their experiential learning experience. This includes completing readings and background research, as well as attending biweekly meetings with faculty directors, pre-departure workshops focused on project development and implementation, and a re-entry retreat focused on processing the experience. Student will also be expected to participate in the global health showcase.

The Student Research Training Program is offered through the Duke Global Health Institute and is part of the Bass Connections Global Health theme.

2019 Projects

Ghana: Health and Well-being of Informal, Small-scale Gold Miners in Amansie West District, Ghana

Gold plays an integral part in Ghana’s social and economic history and currently accounts for a third of overall export revenue. Increasingly, gold extraction is transitioning from large mining operations to small, often illegal, mining ventures. While small-scale mining has the potential to directly improve households’ livelihood, it also poses serious health risks to both the miners and the surrounding communities. This project will work with Millennium Promise (MP) Ghana to assess the health and well-being of informal gold miners in the Amansie West District.

India: Physical and Mental Health Support and Outcomes for Residential Care Programs

In Sanskrit, Uyadan means Eternal Sunshine. Registered in 1994 as a Public Charitable trust, Udayan Care works to empower vulnerable children, women, and youth in 19 cities across 11 states of India. Through the Udayan Care Ghar Program, students have worked on mental health assessment over the past five years. In 2019, students will continue to support core mission goals and gain deep experience learning about orphan and separated child health issues in India and the care model Udayan has developed.

Kenya: WISER Community Programs Impact Evaluation

WISER empowers girls in rural Kenya to overcome poverty, HIV/AIDS and gender-based violence through education and health. Since 2007, the WISER Girls secondary boarding school has evolved into a regional hub for academic excellence and community outreach and has transformed the lives of over 2,500 girls while providing clean water and health education to 5,000 community members. In 2019, students will have the chance to work with WISER on projects relating to the evaluation of its community clean water system, an ongoing analysis of the impact of community sexual and reproductive health education, or a comparative assessment of mental health outcomes of girls who attend WISER.

Kenya: Cervical Cancer Awareness, Screening and Prevention in Western Kenya

Cervical cancer, a highly preventable and treatable disease, is disproportionately represented in low- and middle-income countries. This is largely due to inadequate access of screening and treatment services, lack of a trained health workforce and implementation gaps in current prevention and treatment guidelines. Megan Huchko has partnered with the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Kenyan Ministry of Health for the past five years to develop community-based strategies to improve access to cervical cancer screening and linkage to treatment. In conjunction with Dr. Huchko’s study team, students will have the opportunity to validate a survey instrument to measure cervical cancer stigma or develop the content for an mHealth (mobile health) application focused on cervical cancer education, counseling support for patients, and job aid tools for health workers.

North Carolina: TROSA Model

TROSA is an award-winning, innovative, multiyear licensed residential program that provides comprehensive recovery services for men and women with substance use disorders. TROSA serves an extremely vulnerable population who have faced multiple barriers to success and provides a variety of services including safe and sober housing, daily care needs, vocational training, mental health and general counseling, health care, and education advancement opportunities. Students will engage in day-to-day tasks alongside TROSA staff and residents and conduct both qualitative and quantitative studies with the program’s population to help better understand program needs and effectiveness.

North Carolina: Improving Physical Activity, Nutrition and Social Support for Families through Community-based Partnerships

Children with obesity are at risk for chronic disease. Lifestyle modification is the mainstay of therapy, yet is very challenging to achieve, particularly for families in low-resource settings. Partnerships between clinical and community organizations have the potential to recognize children at risk and provide both high-quality medical care and family-based physical activity and nutrition. Bull City Fit, a local partnership between Duke Children’s Hospital and Durham Parks and Recreation, has been operating since 2012. Students will have the opportunity to develop sustainable collaborations and service learning capacity with Bull City Fit staff, collect longitudinal data on bio-psycho-social health, investigate new tools for nutrition and activity delivery, and mentor children and teens.

How to Apply

Second- and third-year undergraduate students at Duke who have demonstrated an interest in global health through coursework are eligible to apply. Previous international or community-based project experience is desirable.

The deadline is October 2, 2018.