NGO Population Council to Develop Medication that Combines Contraception and HIV Therapy

NGO Population Council to Develop Medication that Combines Contraception and HIV Therapy

Article by Jackie Vicksman Population Council, a research-oriented NGO based in New York, has been pioneering research behind contraceptive multipurpose prevention technologies (cMPTs). Most recently, researchers have been developing a single product that combines contraception and Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) in order to reduce the risk of unintended pregnancy and HIV infection among young women in low and middle-income countries (LMICs). This product could contribute to both family planning initiatives and HIV prevention efforts. This project began in 2018 and is currently ongoing, yet researchers are unsure of when the product will be available to be tested and distributed. The team is particularly excited because one pill would make it easier for women to have control over their own reproduction and sexual health. The NGO is confident that this work will “confirm cMPT acceptability among young women and adolescent girls,” and will “explore the possibility of combining existing products into a single tablet and identify a clear pathway toward regulatory approval.”...
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The Language of “Abortion”: Why The Word Matters

The Language of “Abortion”: Why The Word Matters

Article by Diya Chadha This election cycle’s candidates are comprised of a diverse group, with representation of people from different racial/ethnic groups, sexual identities, religious backgrounds, geographic backgrounds, and more. They fall into different categories when it comes to where they stand on the democratic “spectrum” as well. More than ever before though, we’ve seen a strong contingent of very liberal, democratic socialist candidates for the presidency, in addition to politics in general. Because of the increasingly leftist policies that they’re proposing (especially when compared to the current state of U.S. politics), it has been interesting to see just how the candidates opt to speak about abortion and reproductive healthcare access, both as a women’s rights issue and a healthcare one. Interestingly, as progressive of a group as the candidates seem to be, they’re really failing when it comes to the way they talk about abortion in the explicit sense. At the last democratic debate, only two of the eight candidates asked...
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Looking to 2020 and The Future of Roe v. Wade

Looking to 2020 and The Future of Roe v. Wade

Article by: Diya Chadha Abortion and reproductive healthcare access at large have definitely been key areas of contention and policy focus under the Trump administration. Notably, the reform of Title X under the domestic gag rule and the passing of “heartbeat bills” in nearly 15 states have imposed serious limitations on women’s access to healthcare in the country. And, as much as we hail Supreme Court decisions to function as laws of the land, working to remedy some of the outdatedness of the Constitution, it is simply unreasonable to throw complete faith into the institution given how unorthodox politics have become. As can be seen with those aforementioned policy changes, it is clear that the legislative climate has become increasingly restrictive and less progressive, arguably working in the opposite direction of how it traditionally changes over time. Naturally, the interested portion of the public has been looking towards the 2020 candidates to see how they aim to combat the seemingly growing...
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Pilot Study: Use of mSaada Application to Address Cervical Cancer in Kenya

Pilot Study: Use of mSaada Application to Address Cervical Cancer in Kenya

Article by: Emmy Duerr At the DGRH Think Global Talk on October 15, Jacob Stocks presented his work on the mSaada mobile application platform. Prior to his pilot study, Stocks developed mSaada (meaning “support” in Swahili), an application designed to be a support tool for community-based cervical cancer screening for low-income communities. The app was intended to provide counseling/decision support for community health volunteers as well as patient and specimen tracking to better ensure follow up and patient retention. Stocks implemented a small (n = 19) 5-week pilot study in Migori and Kisumu between July and August of 2019. The pilot study consisted of six iterative feedback sessions with the goal of refining the mSaada platform. The first week of the study involved three group sessions with four participants in each session, using a mixed methods approach of a combination of qualitative in-depth interviews and quantitative usability surveys. Weeks 2-4 provided app developers time for feedback integration, and allowed them to implement...
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Reproductive Health Panel Hosted by PPGA, Empower Her Voice, and NARAL-NC

Reproductive Health Panel Hosted by PPGA, Empower Her Voice, and NARAL-NC

Article by: Diya Chadha On Monday, October 14, two women empowerment and health-focused student groups, Planned Parenthood Generation Action and Empower Her Voice, partnered with NARAL-NC, a pro-choice advocacy group to host a reproductive health panel on campus at the Freeman Center. Lynne Walter from NARAL-NC, Dr. Jonas Schwartz from Duke University Hospital, Gloria de los Santos from The Action Network, and Dani Hoffpauir from Planned Parenthood answered a series of moderated questions on the topics of the Hyde Amendment and the rising influence of pregnancy crisis centers/clinics in North Carolina. Two specific points that they brought attention to were the amount of funding directed from the state towards such emergency clinics and the subsequent negative impact that the clinics have on the healthcare options available to women, as well as the evolving narrative around the idea of abortion and healthcare access in the changing domestic political climate. In the state of North Carolina, crisis pregnancy centers receive nearly $1.3 million in state...
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Expect the Unexpected

Expect the Unexpected

As students and faculty start lifting their heads from the end of semester rush and head off to Summer adventures, we have a chance to reflect on all we have accomplished this past year and to celebrate our graduating students. I had the opportunity to think more about this as I prepared my remarks for DGHI's undergraduate commencement on May 10. The opportunity to speak to graduates and their families was one of the most meaningful experiences I’ve had since joining the Duke faculty in 2016. Asked to talk about my journey from Duke student to a career in medicine and global health, I told the students that they need to expect the unexpected, be prepared for— and maybe even proud of— the inevitable failures, and to take chances on new adventures and challenges. As we embark on new and exciting projects with learners across the university and medical school this summer, I am encouraged to see a new generation of researchers and...
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