Contraceptive Calendar

Contraceptive Calendar

Our team seeks to understand how conflict impacts contraceptive use using data from Sub-Saharan African countries. More specifically, we are looking at trends in contraceptive use for women in the time preceding, during, and following the conflict period--to do so, we are utilizing geocoded data for sub-Saharan Africa from the Uppsala Conflict Dataset and contraceptive calendar data from the Demographic and Health Surveys. This research has important implications for women’s health: firstly, it can help us understand the demographic consequences of conflict on family planning, births, and outcomes, and secondly, it can help inform policy interventions that can target and improve reproductive health in humanitarian settings. We are personally interested in this project because, collectively, our team is passionate about understanding health inequities and empowering women by leveraging policy as a tool. Participation in this project can help to provide us a foundational understanding of how conflict interacts with women’s reproductive autonomy in a way that gives us independent research...
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Natural Language Processing Group

We are the Natural Language Processing group from the Big Data for Reproductive Health Bass Connections team. Our names are Lynne Wang, Foxx Hart, Alexandra Lawrence, and Neha Shrishail. Currently, we are working through “Text Mining with R” to gain a better understanding of text mining, sentiment analysis, and topic modeling. Additionally, we are examining the stigma summary scale as well as other texts related to stigma to form a solid foundation on the resources at hand. We are interested in this project for the opportunity to learn new technical and project management skills, as well as dive deeper into the emerging interdisciplinary space between quantitative machine learning and qualitative social science research. We’re especially excited to apply these methods to an important area in global reproductive health. At the end of our research, we hope to become proficient in using natural language processing and gain a better understanding of how it can be applied to future projects....
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Analyzing access to modern contraception and understanding reproductive rights among women with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Carolina: A mixed methods study

The reproductive health needs of persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) have been historically overlooked. Despite having an equal or greater chance of pregnancy, women with IDDs face significant barriers to accessing contraception. Publicly available survey data exclude individuals who live in institutional settings or require communication assistance, and little is known about the landscape of sexual and reproductive health services within residential facilities. To address these gaps, this Bass Connections Student Research Award project aims to analyze differences in access to and use of contraceptive services among women of reproductive age in North Carolina, as well as understand offerings, needs, facilitators, and barriers relating to contraception within public and private residential facilities. Linear regression and clustering techniques will be applied to a robust Medicaid claims dataset to evaluate contraceptive insertion, surveillance, and removal by disability status. In addition, in-depth interviews will be conducted with administrators, clinicians, and social workers at six residential facilities in North Carolina. The final...
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Student Advisory Board Update

The Student Advisory Board aims to increase engagement with the Center by fostering academic collaboration and advocacy efforts. Now in its third year, the SAB has grown to encompass undergraduates and graduate students across Duke. Over the past few years, student work has been featured on the Center's website as well as newsletters. Students have also helped bring in multiple speakers from various backgrounds, including researchers and SRH advocacy organizations. This year, the Student Advisory Board consists of the Communications Working Group and the Events Working Group. I'm pleased to be working with Angela and Lauren as they are leading both of these groups and are planning incredible ways for students to get more involved with the Center. Hear more about the work they are doing below. From Angela Huang, the Communications Working Group Chair: The Student Advisory Board Communications Committee, made up of both undergraduate and post-graduate students, sets out to form connections between the Duke student populace with the Center for...
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Student Spotlight: Ema Kuczura and Sarah Hubner

Student Spotlight: Ema Kuczura and Sarah Hubner

As we just finished the end of the spring semester, we wanted to highlight the work of two of our talented students: Ema Kuczura and Sarah Hubner. Q: Tell us a little bit about yourself.  Ema: I am originally from Chicago, IL. I recently graduated Duke where I majored in Public Policy and Global Health. I am a member of the Duke Women's Rowing team where I am finishing up my last season. While at Duke, I also participated in the Rubenstein-Bing Athlete Civic Engagement program, served as Co-President of the One Love student club, and served on the executive board of Duke SHAPE (Sexual Harassment and Assault Prevention and Education). Sarah: I am originally from Long Island, New York. I studied Political Science with a concentration in Security Peace, and Conflict and Global Health, and pursued a Markets and Management Studies Certificate. I have long been interested in the intersection of US foreign policy and economic development on health outcomes among marginalized populations...
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Lives in the balance, a COVID-19 Summit

Lives in the balance, a COVID-19 Summit

By: Sandra Yvonne Oketch COVID- 19 is a public health crisis that has ravaged the health and economic situations and magnified the disparities and inequality that already exists in many women, adolescents and children. This impact has led to disruptions in health services that include: management of acute malnutrition, provision of family planning and immunizations, antenatal and postal care, HIV/ AIDS care and many other services. The Lives in the balance a COVID 19 virtual summit held on the 1st and 2nd July 2020 was hosted by Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH) and Core Group bringing together key stakeholders to discuss the impact of COVID- 19 on the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents. The highlights from key note speakers: The first keynote speaker, was the WHO Director and he emphasized on the need of having multi-stakeholder platforms in the response to the COVID- 19 pandemic. “First, we need to advocate for an intersectoral approach informed by rights- based and...
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Faculty Spotlight: Joy Noel Baumgartner

Faculty Spotlight: Joy Noel Baumgartner

By: Angela Huang Across the past 6 years with Duke, Dr. Joy Noel Baumgartner has done incredible work within the fields of global mental health, studying maternal mental health, psychotic disorders and HIV/RH services in low resources settings across the world. She acts as the Director of the Evidence Lab and the Global Mental Health Working Group in Duke’s Global Health Institute. Furthermore, she acts as an Associate Research Professor of global health teaching classes related to maternal and child health. She also collaborates as a Faculty Network Member of the Duke Institute for Brain Sciences. She has conducted research everywhere from Tanzania to Jamaica, exploring how various community interventions may improve mental health and reproductive health. To highlight her recent work, she’s worked with other researchers in Duke and Guatemala to examine the factors that may prevent or promote implementing a perioperative patient safety program in the Roosevelt Hospital in Guatemala. They found that limited resources, leadership engagement, and knowledge were...
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Studying Global, Staying Local

By: Ema Kuczura and Sarah Hubner  When we entered the Student Research Training Program, we were preparing ourselves to deal with many challenges, including learning new research skills and navigating cultural differences. Working with DGHI Doctoral Scholar, Kelly Hunter, our goal was to understand the impact of the Global Gag Rule on health care providers and non-governmental organizations in Western Kenya. The Global Gag Rule formally referred to as the Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance Policy, “aims to ensure that US tax-payer funding does not support foreign non-governmental organizations that perform or actively promote abortion as a method of family planning” (Michael Pompeo, US Secretary of State). We were planning on using our time in Kisumu to conduct in-person interviews with stakeholders in the reproductive health sector. However, when we heard the news that pandemic would make it impossible to travel to Kenya as we initially anticipated, we knew achieving the goals we set forth for the summer would require newfound...
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Settings and Preparedness in Protecting the Most Undeserved in Humanitarian and Fragile Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Settings and Preparedness in Protecting the Most Undeserved in Humanitarian and Fragile Settings During the COVID-19 Pandemic

By: Sandra Yvonne Oketch COVID-19 has impacted negatively the women’s, children and adolescents’ health and wellbeing in immeasurable ways. The Lives in the balance COVID- 19 virtual summit held on July 1 and 2, 2020 brought together experts from different fields for an opportunity to listen, discuss and actually reflect on COVID-19 impact and collectively work on a healthy recovery. The breakout sessions included reflections on: One, understanding the humanitarian and fragile settings around protecting the most undeserved including women, children and adolescents; Two, the preparedness in protecting the most undeserved including women, children and adolescents in humanitarian and fragile settings. SETTINGS. Protecting the most undeserved: women, children and adolescents in humanitarian and fragile settings This session was facilitated by Marydale Oppert from International Rescue Committee, IRC who discussed on ways to protect the undeserved in humanitarian and fragile settings. IRC works in over 40 countries in the world mostly with displaced populations and refugees. The pandemic has led to increased disparities in...
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Building Evidence on COVID-19’s Impact on the Health of Women, Adolescents and Children

Building Evidence on COVID-19’s Impact on the Health of Women, Adolescents and Children

By: Sandra Yvonne Oketch The Lives in the balance COVID- 19 virtual summit on July 1 and 2 had an interesting breakout session examining evidence on COVID-19 impact on the health of women, children and adolescents. This session was facilitated by Joy Lawn, Professor, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. It is important to note that in 2019, there were already over 9 million deaths of women and children, with over 50% of these deaths related to pregnancy and birth. This current pandemic exacerbates this situation and undermines the ‘Every Woman Every Child’ campaign efforts.  The ‘Every Woman Every Child’ campaign is a global movement launched by the United Nations that mobilizes and intensifies actors including International and National action by Governments, multilaterals and civil societies to address the major health challenges facing women and children globally. Some of the campaign’s targets to end preventable death for women and children and ensure their health and well-being include: No woman should die...
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