2019 Summer Projects

The Center for Global Education Initiatives is pleased to announce five global health interprofessional projects for the Summer 2019 grant program. Students have an opportunity to participate in projects in Rwanda, Guinea, Zambia, Nigeria and Thailand.

  • Nov. 15:  Come and meet the faculty leaders of the global health summer 2019 projects. Students will find out more about the projects and have their questions answered about the application process.  SMC Campus Center, Rm 115, 1st floor, 12 noon-1:00 pm.
  • Dec. 4:  Applications are due by 11:59 pm. Apply here.



Understanding Bottlenecks in HIV Test Turnaround Times in Kigali, Rwanda

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

Dates: 2 weeks, either July 29-August 9 or August 5-16th (TBD with student grantees)

Students: 2-3 (medicine, nursing, public health, social work, law, dentistry)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1,900-$2,300 (depending on housing and meal preferences)

Despite the progress in expanding the treatment of HIV/AIDS over the last decade, patients initiated on antiretroviral therapy require serial clinical visits and laboratory monitoring.  In Rwanda, the current standard is for patients to have an annual HIV RNA PCR lab test performed to monitor the status of their treatment.  If the viral test result is elevated, the patient is considered to be failing therapy.  Delays in the diagnosis of treatment failure frequently lead to increased morbidity and mortality as well as an increased risk of antiretroviral drug resistance.   If drug resistance develops, the patient may not have further treatment options available to them in Rwanda (where the number and types of antiretroviral drugs is limited).

As part of a national effort to understand and address the bottlenecks in turnaround time of HIV PCR results, we will perform an analysis of factors leading to delays.  This initiative is part of a broader Ministry of Health plan to improve the health of all patients living with HIV.  We will investigate facility-level, logistical, and laboratory-level factors that can lead to delays in turnaround time of results.  Students will obtain exposure to multiple levels of the Rwandan health care system and develop an understanding of the challenges faced by healthcase workers in resource-limited setting.

Learn more about the Rwanda 2019 Program Summary


Investigation and Participating Environmental and Social Impact Assessment on Bauxite Mine and Refinery in Boke, Guinea

Faculty lead: Professor Seema Kakade, Director, Environmental Law Clinic and JingJing Zhang, Lecturer in Law TEA Project, University of Maryland Carey School of Law

Dates: Likely June 3-13 timeframe

Students: 4-6 (medicine, law, nursing, public health, social work, dentistry)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1,000-$1,200

This project in Guinea is part of an overall existing two-year project at the law school called the Transnational Environmental Accountability (TEA) Project, aimed at studying and acting upon the legal implications of the Chinese government’s policy to exploit natural resources in developing countries for the benefit of the Chinese economy.  The TEA project is working in three regions: Asia, Africa, and Latin America.  The Africa team closely focuses on Chinese infrastructure and investment in Guinea, surrounding a bauxite mine and a proposed refinery.  Guinea is one of poorest countries in the world, and it has one third of global bauxite reserves and China’s number one bauxite provider.  American, Russian and Chinese companies are operating in a bauxite-mining district, Boke, and all have caused negative impacts on the environment and people’s livelihoods.  Human Rights Watch has very recently detailed the environmental and health issues surrounding the mine.  Project co-facilitator JingJing Zhang has established strong connections with local non-governmental organizations in Guinea, including ASMP (Association Mines Sans Pauvrete).  The Chinese company, SMB, owns and operates the mine.  This proposed Guinea project plans to work with ASMP and other three local NGOs in Guinea to provide citizen science tool kits for NGOs and communities to document SMB’s environmental performance and adverse impact on approximately 100 villages around its mining sites.

Learn more about the Guinea 2019 Program Summary


Advancing antimicrobial stewardship at University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Zambia

Faculty lead: Cassidy Claassen, MD, MPH, School of Medicine, Institute for Human Virology

Co-investigators:  Neha Sheth Pandit, PharmD, AAHIVP, BCPS, School of Pharmacy, Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science; Emily L. Heil, PharmD, BCPS-AQ ID, AAHIVP, School of Pharmacy; and Derick Munkombwe, DipEd, BPharm, MPH, PhD, University of Zambia, School of Health Sciences

Dates: 4 weeks, May 20 – June 21,2019 (approximate)

Students: 2-4 (medicine, nursing, public health, pharmacy, dentistry)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1350-$1,750

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has become a top public treat 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 present infectious diseases.

The overall goal of this project is to assess pharmacy and medical student knowledge of antimicrobial spectrum of activity and responsible antibiotic use at the University of Zambia Schools of Medicine and Pharmacy.  This will be followed by providing a tool to students to facilitate bugs/drugs learning with a post-assessment to be administered to see if knowledge improved after tool use.

Learn more about the Zambia 2019 Program Summary


Sexual and Reproductive Health in Primary Care for Adolescents Living with HIV in Nigeria

Faculty lead: Nadia Sam-Agudu, MD, School of Medicine, Institute of Human Virology

Dates: 4 weeks between May 27 - June 21 exact dates to be determined

Students: 4 (medicine, nursing, public health, social work, law, dentistry)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: $1,200-$1,500 (total for 3-4 weeks)

Nigeria has the second-highest number of adolescents living with HIV (ALHIV) globally, after South Africa, with an estimated 230,000 ALHIV in the country.  ALHIV in Nigeria often have poor adherence and virological suppression, poor retention in care, and pool mental health status.  This results in higher mortality rates when compared with adolescents not living with HIV.  This project proposes to conduct an audit of health systems serving adolescents, for the purpose of evaluating how healthcare facilities are currently managing ALHIV enrolled in their care, and in the absence of specific national guidelines, recommend appropriate Sate and facility level interventions that can help improve the quality of HIV treatment services offered to ALHIV.

We will focus on contributing to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals 3 (Good Health and Well-being for all) and 5 (Gender Equality).  Activities will include conducting a survey of secondary and tertiary health facilities in Federal Capitol Territory and Nasarawa State – states with high HIV burden – to identify systems and structures that support access of ALHIV to HIV treatment services, including testing.  Also planned are paired ALHIV-caregiver surveys to access knowledge and uptake of Hep B and HPV vaccinations and contraception.  Finally, we will conduct in-depth interviews and focus group discussions with service providers and service recipients to determine clients’ awareness of their rights to care, and service providers’ approaches for implementing right-based HIV care services.

Learn more about the Nigeria 2019 Program Summary

Maha Sarakham, Thailand


Interprofessional Education (IPE) Home-Care Visits: Lessons Learned from IPE program in Thailand

Faculty lead: Dr. Erin VanMeter, Assistant Professor (Ambulatory Care Pharmacist), Pharmacy Practice and Science, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Dates: 2-3 weeks between May 20 - June 1, 2019

Students: 4-6 (dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health, social work)

Airfare is provided by the Center. Additional estimated cost to each student: < $1,000

This project at Mahasarakham University in Thailand builds on the long-time participation of the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in the US-Thai Pharmacy Education Consortium.  In addition to the Consortium’s mission to strengthen pharmacy education, it also works to improve the health and welfare of the Thai people through many times of health interventions including interprofessional care teams.  Dr. Ploylearmsang, a pharmacy faculty member from Mahasarakham University, successfully implemented an interprofessional care model called Humanized Patient Home Care.  This collaboration involved students and faculty from five disciplines (medicine, pharmacy, architecture, nursing, and informatics) working together to promote, prevent, treat and adjust patients’ health behaviors through home-care visits.

The teams, comprised to one student from each discipline, were connected with community health volunteers and conducted home-care visits.  Dr. Ploylearmsang demonstrated that this collaboration had a positive impact on patient care and professional development for students.  The UMB team will study this model of interprofessional care teams in Thailand which will provide a unique opportunity to learn best practices on how to successful implement interprofessional education (IPE) home-care visits while positively impacting patient care.  Explorations in providing high-quality patient-care in an environment that is more familiar and comfortable to the patient is already underway.  However, to our knowledge there are a limited number of interdisciplinary teams that provide patient-care within the patients’ home.  This collaboration provides opportunities to identify and address gaps in health care with the ultimate goal of improving health outcomes.  Students will develop a guide to a US IPE experience with student competencies and orientation materials for implementation in the US.

Learn more about the Thailand 2019 Program Summary