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Week by week

Monday, October 25, 2010

Bernard J. Turnock, MD MPH, guest lectured

Week Ending 10/22/2010
                This week, Bernard J. Turnock, MD MPH,  guest lectured on his experiences working in various public health departments.  It was fascinating to hear of his experiences and all the forces at play while he was Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. (  Wednesday I attended the Chicago Board of Health and heard about the different projects they are overseeing including smoke-free housing and teen pregnancy, as well as a presentation on breast cancer disparities amongst women in Chicago.  We also had our second Epi midterm this week.  I think the test went fine but it really made me feel like the semester is coming to an end so quickly! 
This week in my global health class, we discussed women and maternal health.  The presentations were interesting- discussing fistulas, forced sterilization, and adolescent marriages.  When thinking of issues in the global context it is interesting to think of the recurring themes of many of the same issues facing different health problems- education, access, financial, research, etc.  We have also been working on a variety of group projects for different classes- it is fun to combine the ideas of many and I think it has been made so much easier with easy access to technology.

Friday, October 22, 2010

I am excited to start transcribing my interviews and start analyzing the data.

Week Ending 10/15/10
                I met with my UIC mentor, Dr. Nadine Peacock,  this week and we devised a strategy for the first steps of my data analysis.  She was so encouraging about what I was able to get done in Ghana even though it is a small project.  I am excited to start transcribing my interviews and start analyzing.  It is also a good experience working with qualitative data, since most of my work in research has previously been done with quantitative data.
                My CHSC course was cancelled for the week, so I just worked on some online assignments and surveys.  In epidemiology we have an exam next week so I am finishing up the assignment for this week and preparing for the exam.  In my global health course, we discussed men’s health.  It was really interesting because there has been a lot of focus on women’s health and there is even a concentration offered in it at UIC, but men’s health has been relatively neglected.

Friday, October 8, 2010

we discussed the global burden of non-communicable diseases

Week Ending 10/8/10
                I got back to the US this week and have been exhausted!  I made it back in time to make all of my classes this week.  Turns out there were some unforeseen make-up assignments for my week away, but I am now all caught up.  It was really interesting that this week in my global health class we discussed the global burden of non-communicable diseases, which results in a double burden for many developing countries.  This was especially interesting after my trip, where I was able to see how much chronic diseases affect those in developing countries- especially diabetes, hypertension, and mental conditions.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Five days providing medical care in Ghana

Week Ending 10/1/10
                This week has been intense.  We worked 4 days at the hospital seeing over 200 people and fit more than 75 hearing aids.  Yesterday we went to a village instead of working at the hospital.  It was difficult to travel there (no good roads) and once we were there over 600 people came to see us.  This village has no running water or electricity so our services were limited.  As part of the ear team we screened everyone for infections or bugs we could remove from their ears- whereas at the hospital we could also do ear washes, hearing tests, and fit those eligible for custom hearing aids.  

                 Here are some links you might be interested in: 

Anidaso Health is the organization I went to Ghana with:
The Slaormey Volunteers Group (SVG) is the organization that coordinated everything in Africa:

The Starkey Hearing Foundation is where we get the hearing aids from at affordable prices for global missions.

Here is a Flickr site with photos of the 2010 Ghana mission:  Anidaso Health is the organization
                The medical team did a lot of work this week as well, focusing a lot on diabetes and hypertension screenings.  Although many associate developing countries with infectious disease, chronic disease is an important part of the disease burden experienced there. 
I leave for the US in the morning and expect it to be a long but uneventful trip home, just as it was coming here.  I am looking forward to seeing my family and have to get back to work on my project and school assignments, but I wish I was able to stay longer.  There is way more need than a 5 day trip can provide.