Small Fish, Big Conference: Lessons from an early career researcher on navigating your first international conference

Small Fish, Big Conference: Lessons from an early career researcher on navigating your first international conference

Guest Blog by Konyin Adewumi, MSc-GH '17 Last month, I was given the opportunity to present my research work at the International Papillomarvirus Conference in Sydney, Australia. I submitted an abstract entitled, “Female perspectives on male involvement in a human papillomavirus-based cervical cancer screening program in western Kenya”; a qualitative analysis that was part of an ongoing study at Duke’s Center for Global Reproductive Health. After taking the time to reflect on my experiences navigating such a great opportunity, I found that I had learned a few lessons that may be beneficial to others who are in my shoes – anyone that is early in their research career, unsure where the path is headed, but eager to make the most of the opportunities presented to you.     So here are my five lessons: One. Similar to your fieldwork, what can go wrong will go wrong. Plan accordingly—and when all else fails, learn to pivot. From arriving to the airport to find out that I...
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All in a Day’s Work: Engaging the Community through HPV testing in Kisumu

All in a Day’s Work: Engaging the Community through HPV testing in Kisumu

Blog by Faith Otewa In my role as site coordinator of the Kisumu Center office, I’ve had the opportunity to oversee the “Hybrid Study,” in which we are looking at integrating HPV testing into community health campaigns providing multiple other disease services, including HIV testing, family planning and TB testing.  Many of the experiences will linger on with us for many years to come; while some illustrate the challenges encountered in conducting research and community-based care in Africa, others show the power of community mobilization and knowledge. It is the 10th week out in the field and the study team are getting ready to recruit at the 3rd set of campaigns. However, as if often the case in western Kenya, and certainly when we are working in tents set out in the middle of fields, the climate has had a big impact on study.  The harsh weather and copious rainstorms experienced in the month of May this vastly affected recruitment. There has...
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India’s Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act raises eyebrows, initiating conversations on improving current policy

India’s Maternity Benefit (Amendment) Act raises eyebrows, initiating conversations on improving current policy

Last year, India amended its Maternity Benefit Act. While it was praised in “making India proud around the world” and “bringing women in workforce closer to workplace equality” as the amendment increased the paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 26 weeks, negative consequences also surfaced. With employers being held liable for the entire cost of funding the maternity leave to employees, over a quarter of the small and medium enterprises and startups in a survey indicated that they preferred to hire male employees, rendering the amendment more damaging than helpful for female employees. Several solutions were proposed to remedy this situation and make the Maternity Benfit Act more appealing to the employers: 1) provision of tax: employers provide job-protected leave while the wage replacement is funded through an employee payroll tax; and 2) gender-neutral paid leave: the 26-week leave is split equally between the dad and mom so that no employer bears the entire burden of having its employee...
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Still A Long Way To Go: Fighting Gender Disparities in Medicine

Still A Long Way To Go: Fighting Gender Disparities in Medicine

A recent report revealed a prestigious Japanese medical school has systematically lowered entrance exam scores of female applicants, preventing women from entering the school for years. Many women quitting medicine after getting married or having children were cited as reasons for altering the exam scores and excluding women. Countries, in which women are steadily becoming a majority of entering medical students such as the US, UK, and Canada, are no exception to encountering these criticisms. Some argue that the changing gender composition of the medical workforce has negative economic and workforce implications because: more female doctors are working part time compared to their male colleagues; more women plan to retire before the age of 65 than men, shortening their working life; women have longer consultations with patients and see fewer patients than male doctors. However, as Yoshiko Maeda, head of the Japan Medical Women's Association, stated in the article, instead of worrying about women quitting jobs, "we need a working...
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Using GIS Spatial Mapping to Enumerate the Risk of Loss-to-Follow-up for Cervical Cancer Treatment in Western Kenya

Using GIS Spatial Mapping to Enumerate the Risk of Loss-to-Follow-up for Cervical Cancer Treatment in Western Kenya

By Moreen Njoroge, T-19 Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer in women worldwide and the most common cancer among women in sub-Saharan Africa. The risk for cervical pre-cancer and cancer is increased by the biological effects of co-infection with HIV and HPV, both of which have a higher prevalence in sub-Saharan Africa and especially in Migori, Kenya where the seroprevalence of HIV/AIDS is not uncommon. The social and economic factors in Migori, Kenya make cervical cancer control more difficult to achieve with the established standard of care in developed countries. A major barrier to accessing screening and treatment services for cervical cancer in this region is poor health literacy associated with the lower educational-attainment rates in Kenya, especially for women. Structural barriers associated with increased cervical cancer mortality rates include lack of diagnostic tools for screening, understaffing in clinics and hospitals, a paucity of pathology laboratories and the long waiting times associated with screening-result transmission. The lack of treatment...
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Recap of Women’s Health Symposium

Recap of Women’s Health Symposium

On Friday, October 20th, public health professionals from around the Triangle gathered at Duke to discuss how best to advance women’s health in the current political environment. Keynote speeches were given by Jen Kates, Vice President and Director of Global HIV Policy at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and North Carolina Congressman David Price. Women’s health right now is in an era of uncertainty. Jen Kates focused on this as she outlined many of the questions that remain regarding how the Trump administration will implement many of its proposed changes to global health policy. Unfortunately, this uncertainty extends to women’s health domestically as well. Congressman David Price described expected and potential changes to the Affordable Care Act and the devastating effect these could have on women and girls across the United States. After hearing a broad overview, the afternoon concluded with two panels which honed in on specific impacts current and proposed policies will have. Lindsay Robinson of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic reminded...
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Reflection in Global Health Essay Contest

Reflection in Global Health Essay Contest

The Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) announced its fifth annual Reflection Essay Contest. The contest is co-sponsored by CUGH, Child Family Health International, University of Pittsburg Center for Global Health and Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division. Trainees from undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels and Global Health faculty/practitioners are encouraged to submit an essay to the contest. Winners will be invited to attend and read their essays at the CUGH 2018 Annual Conference (March 16-18, 2018) in New York, NY. Submissions are due by midnight EST on November 12, 2017. For more information, please visit the CUGH website....
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Free online course from the Lancet Maternal Health Series

Free online course from the Lancet Maternal Health Series

This limited-time, free online course based on the Lancet Maternal Health Series will explore the state of maternal health around the world. Students, researchers and implementers are invited to join to review the latest evidence and learn what is needed to ensure good-quality, woman-centered maternal healthcare for all. You will cover topics that include epidemiology of maternal and neonatal health, patterns in health care delivery, what constitutes quality maternal health care and how it related to respectful care, and challenges and opportunities in the Sustainable Development Goals. Check it out! Link to the online course: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/maternal-health...
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Can we translate the multilateral strategies for cervical cancer prevention to address other global health disparities?

Can we translate the multilateral strategies for cervical cancer prevention to address other global health disparities?

Cervical cancer is an example of a glaring health disparity between wealthy and poor countries, and remains an immediate health threat to many women in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Evidence-based, cost-effective protocols recommended by the World Health Organization have not been widely implemented due to limited health care infrastructure augmented by a lack of funding and political will. Although there are some unique factors contributing to the disparity in cervical cancer outcomes between high and LMICs, there are some common root causes shared across health systems: poor health care infrastructure, lack of awareness of early signs or symptoms, lack of funding prioritization within local governments, and limited operationalization of proven technologies used in high-income countries. These root causes must be addressed through both innovation and adaptation of successful interventions to fit the target community and the priorities of local governments (i.e. be both low-cost and cost-effective). To achieve this, clinicians and researchers need to partner with policy experts and...
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