2017 Summer Projects

The Center for Global Education Initiatives is pleased to announce six global health interprofessional projects for summer 2017. Students have an opportunitiy to participate in projects in Botswana, Egypt, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Zambia.

Applications closed on December 2, 2016.

Gaborone, Botswana

Clinical outcomes of HIV-positive individuals on dolutegravir-containing regimens

Faculty lead: Paul Saleeb, MD, School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology

Dates: 3 weeks, May 28 - June 16 (approximate)

Students: 2 (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1,200

Botswana, an upper-middle income country in southern Africa, has the third highest prevalence of HIV in the world, at 18.4%.  In 2016, the Botswana Ministry of Health started implementing universal treatment of all newly diagnosed HIV-positive individuals with an antiretroviral regimen containing dolutegravir, a relatively new drug. Premarketing trials have demonstrated that dolutegravir is a potent medication with few side effects; however, it has not been studied in routine clinical practice in sub-Saharan Africa. In this project, UMB students will collect data on virologic suppression and side effects associated with dolutegravir-containing regimens at two major clinics in Botswana. Read more about the Botswana project.

Monrovia, Liberia

Assessing barriers to retention in HIV care in Monrovia, Liberia

Faculty lead: Beth Barrows, MS, RN, School of Nursing Office of Global Health

Dates: 3 weeks, May 20 - June 10 (approximate)

Students: 4 (nursing, public health, social work)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $2,400

Special requirement: Liberia is rated as an extreme health risk destination; our Center requests that students have a medical exam before being approved for travel.

The goal of this project is to identify the obstacles to retention in care among adults living with HIV in Monrovia, Liberia using an interprofessional approach. The objectives for this project are to: 1) perform an interprofessional, organizational assessment of existing HIV care and services at MPCHS and affiliated St. Joseph’s Catholic Hospital clinic using a pre-existing tool; 2) examine provider perceptions of barriers and facilitators to retention in care for persons living with HIV through focus group discussions, interviews and/or surveys; and 3) examine patient perceptions of the above through focus group discussions and interviews. Read more about the Liberia project.

Abuja, Nigeria

Evaluation of barriers to cervical cancer screening in Nigeria

Faculty lead: Clement Adebamowo, BM, ChB, ScD, FWACS, FACS, School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology

Dates: Flexible, 4-6 weeks

Students: 2 (medicine, pharmacy, nursing, social work)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1,800 for 4 weeks

HIV-positive women are at higher risk for cervical cancer, and as more HIV-positive individuals enjoy prolonged survival on account of modern combination antiretroviral treatment, incidence of cases are expected to grow. A focused response to the growing burden of cervical cancer among HIV-positive women is therefore required. Identification of barriers to use of self-sampling and attendance at cervical cancer screening programs will contribute to the development of strategic responses that better links cervical cancer prevention services to HIV care and improve the uptake of cervical cancer screening among women living with HIV/AIDS. In Nigeria, since 2010, as part of IHV-Nigeria's PEPFAR funded ActionPlusUp program, a cervical cancer “see and treat” program was started to provide this care for women living with HIV. The goals of this project are to 1) complete a review of the literature on barriers to cervical cancer screening which can be focused on low- and middle-income countries or globally, 2) travel to Nigeria and observe a study site where women are being enrolled in cervical cancer screening programs, and 3) conduct a qualitative study of the barriers to cervical cancer screening among women living with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria. Read more about the Nigeria project.

Kigali, Rwanda

Initiation of ART treatment in Rwanda and understanding barriers to the Treat All approach

Faculty lead: David Riedel, MD, MPH, School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology

Dates: 2 weeks, July 31 - August 11 (approximate)

Students: 2 (medicine, nursing, pharmacy, social work, law)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1,700

The treatment of HIV has substantially evolved over the last 30 years. The specific timing for ART initiation has always been a contentious and controversial area until 2015 when the results of the landmark START study was published. The study showed conclusively the benefits of initiating early ART for all HIV-infected patients rather than deferring to treat at a lower CD4 count. This led to the WHO's updated treatment guidelines and Rwanda's national Treat All guidelines. The goals of this project are to: 1) complete a review of the literature on when to initiate HIV treatment in HIV-infected patients, with a focus on the START trial, the 2015 WHO Guidelines, and the 2016 Rwanda National Guidelines; 2) develop a directed survey to address the barriers to the Treat All approach to ART initiation to be performed with providers, patients, and community members; 3) travel to Rwanda where students will a) meet with members of the UMB local program, b) carry out two week-long site visits to UMB-assigned district hospitals and health centers and conduct interviews of ART providers, patients, and community members, and c) document the evolution of HIV care and treatment in Rwanda and how the new guidelines of treating everyone at the time of diagnosis has affected stigma, population health, and individual outcomes and what barriers to early ART initiation still exist; and 4) meet with Ministry of Health staff to determine their perspective on the benefits of Test and Treat as it applies to the potential for an AIDS-free generation and reducing the morbidity and mortality of HIV-infected patients in the country. Read more about the Rwanda project.

Lusaka, Zambia

Implementation of antimicrobial stewardship at a hospital in Lusaka, Zambia

Faculty lead: Emily Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, School of Pharmacy

Dates: 3 weeks, June 19 - July 7

Students: 3 (medicine, nursing, pharmacy)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1,400

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a top public health threat worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a global action plan to mitigate AMR and ensure, for as long as possible, the ability to successfully treat and prevent infectious diseases. Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a top public health threat worldwide. The World Health Organization (WHO) has developed a global action plan to mitigate AMR and ensure, for as long as possible, the ability to successfully treat and prevent infectious diseases. The overall goal of the project is to develop a model for antimicrobial stewardship at The University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia while also establishing a sustainable international research and learning opportunity for UMB students. Read more about the Zambia project.