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Week by week

Friday, September 17, 2010

I completed and submitted my IRB application for my project in Ghana.

Week Ending 9/17/10
                This week has been so busy!  I completed and submitted my IRB application for my project in Ghana.  I have never been part of a research project at this stage so it was a great experience and a chance to learn something new about the research process.  As part of this, I completed the online training modules to be eligible through IRB to conduct research.  This is done to try to educate people about the research process, ethics, and ensuring confidentiality.  I feel fortunate to have the support and advice of so many people.
                My classes this week have focused on health inequity.  One class focused more on health in the United States and interventions there, while this week my global health class focused on the neglected tropical diseases.  It was interesting because although education is important and a large focus of public health interventions, it is not always sustainable or the most effective.  Success often comes when interventions also provide a means to change the situation.  One example is how New York City required screens on homes in windows along with parental education that resulted in a 96% decrease in window falls.  Many of the interventions for the neglected tropical diseases include sanitation and clean water.  It is not enough to educate villages on the importance of this if they do not have the means to provide it.  It is so interesting to learn of the ways people have made large scale impacts through different interventions as opposed to learning how to help an individual.
                This week was also insightful because I learned of all the research that has to go into monitoring, measuring, and delivering interventions.  Many places do not have accurate reporting of diseases and death making it difficult to always determine need.  Additionally, research has to be done to develop methods on how to survey geographic areas to most cost effectively determine incidence of diseases to be able to deliver the proper amount of medications or other procedures.  Also, interventions can be integrated to more cost effectively deliver services to address multiple health issues at once.  There are so many aspects that go into developing good public health interventions and policies as well as how to innovate them.