Ten Next Generation Fellows from Columbia College, Barnard College, Hunter College, and the Mailman School of Public Health are heading abroad to spend two months working on mentored research projects in Cameroon, the Dominican Republic, Kenya, and Swaziland as part of ICAP’s Minority Health and Health Disparities International Research Training (MHIRT) fellowship.
Accurate early diagnosis and prompt treatment of malaria is among the core strategies used to prevent and control malaria. When patients visit health centers or hospitals for malaria care, a lab technician collects blood from the patient and examines it for the presence of malaria parasites. To ensure the reliability of the test, the slides are collected from health facilities and labs and verified by external laboratory personnel to ensure patients are receiving the right diagnosis and treatment. In Ethiopia, where there are just a handful of expert malaria microscopy readers, the regional reference laboratories are not adequately staffed to handle the high number of slides regularly collected from facilities for quality control and this adversely affects malaria diagnosis and patient care.
This past month, ICAP welcomed a group of public health experts from Kenya to participate in a week-long intensive mentorship exchange on medication-assisted treatment (MAT) programs for people who inject drugs (PWID). The learning exchange precedes the launch of the first MAT program at Jaramongi Oginga Odinga Teaching and Referral Hospital (JOOTH), an ICAP-supported hospital in Kisumu, Kenya.
Today, survey teams for the PHIA Project are at work in three countries and have tested more than 53,000 people for HIV. Funded by PEPFAR through the CDC, these surveys will provide critical information on the state of the HIV epidemic in these countries and help shape policies and programs to confront the epidemic.
The global response to the HIV epidemic offers lessons about ways to support continuous care for chronic health conditions during complex and protracted emergencies, such as the current refugee crisis, argue researchers Wafaa El-Sadr (professor of epidemiology and director, ICAP at Columbia University), Miriam Rabkin (associate professor of epidemiology and director of Health Systems Strategy at ICAP at Columbia University), and Fouad M. Fouad (assistant research professor, Department of Epidemiology and Population Health, American University of Beirut), in the latest issue of Global Public Health. The article explores key lessons from HIV programs such as evidence-based approaches, intensive patient education, and the use of outreach workers and peer educators as possible blueprints for redesigning refugee health services.
The Nursing Education Partnership Initiative (NEPI) has made important contributions towards PEPFAR’s goal of controlling the HIV epidemic by increasing the number, quality, and capacity of nurses and midwives in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, and Zambia. Through NEPI, ICAP has worked with ministries of health in these countries to enroll over 23,000 students in nursing and midwifery programs. More than 10,000 students have already graduated and joined the health workforce, each bringing much needed HIV skills to clinics and communities.