Mama Afya: Student Blog

Designing solutions for global health challenges

By Julia CirilloJanuary 7th, 2019in Blog

Drones. Robotics. 3D Printing. These have been buzz words in the scientific community for years now, but not so much in the field of Global Health – until now. The archipelago country of Vanuatu, remotely located in the South Pacific Ocean, is the “only country in the world to make its childhood vaccine program officially drone-dependent.” With Vanuatu’s nearly impossible terrain for foot travel and dangerous conditions for boats, delivery by drone from Australian company Swoop Aero offers reliable, nearby, and effective retrieval of childhood vaccines for diseases such as hepatitis and tuberculosis. This is crucial to combat Vanuatu’s large... More

Response to: ‘From Nothing to Gangbusters’: A Treatment for Sickle-Cell Disease Proves Effective in Africa

By Alexandra Van WaesDecember 10th, 2018in Blog

A current new study on the effects of a drug known as hydroxyurea has been shown to decrease the painful and fatal effects of sickle-cell anemia in children in Africa, after finally getting past the FDA in America. The use of hydroxyurea has been prevalent in America for adults since 1998, and used to treat children with this disease since 2016. The disease causes red blood cells to twist themselves into stiff, semicircular shapes, which causes a severe type of anemia and can lead to higher risk of infections, higher risk of blood clots, and intense pain. The disease affects... More

From the field – Summer 2018: Bringing about systematic change in global health & development

By Madison CalvertAugust 6th, 2018in Blog

My time here in Zanzibar has largely been spent working in the laboratory of the Mpendae Primary Health Care Unit. Every day I, along with two other students, three lab technicians, and patients, squeeze into the small, ten by ten lab facility. And every day, I see something new that completely shocks me. Over the past few weeks, I’ve eaten cake only a foot away from a patient whose blood was being drawn, found durian being stored with the microscope, watched a needle fall and be inserted back into the arm of a patient, seen urine samples poured down the sink, More

From the field: Summer 2018 – flexibility in global health research

Having spent an entire semester preparing for our six weeks in Zanzibar, it seems impossible to believe that our time here is almost over. Over the past month I have been incredibly privileged to participate in research aimed at developing devices to positively impact global health. If I take anything away from this experience, it would be the lessons I have learnt from working in the field. No matter how well planned out a project is, and the lead detection project was very thoroughly prepped for Zanzibar, there will always be challenges when you arrive and start to get down to... More

From the field – Summer 2018: A Little Consideration for Others

By Maisha SavaniJuly 31st, 2018in Blog

As the weeks pass by in Stonetown- a place I can that has gradually become a second home for me- The more I’ve come to realize how inconsiderate  and judgmental we are as people. We go about our daily lives constantly concerned about our time, our goals, what we have to get done in a day . If anyone or anything inconveniences us, we’re irritated and quick to blame others for our problem. It’s a quality I’ve observed among the several community members, health care professionals, and doctors I have had the privilege of talking to over the past month. More