Check out the work of Hagey et al. on “Timeliness of Delivery Care and Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes in Private Facilities in Masaka Area, Uganda: A Quasi-Experimental Study.”


Hagey, J.M., Kirya, J., Kaggwa, J. et al. Timeliness of Delivery Care and Maternal and Neonatal Health Outcomes in Private Facilities in Masaka Area, Uganda: A Quasi-Experimental Study. Matern Child Health J 27, 2048–2057 (2023).

This project aims to examine social media data to analyze prospective trends in contraceptive use in the US and an African country. The Duke team will partner with IntraHealth’s digital health team to conduct landscape analysis on social media, contraceptive use and public health. Team members will investigate whether social media data sources, such as Google Trends and Twitter, can be used to measure contraceptive use and its discontinuation, design public health interventions and conduct disease surveillance.

In past years, this Bass Connections project team created a suite of online data visualization tools that allow stakeholders, advocates and policymakers to easily see trends in existing contraceptive data. Team members used machine learning to build a precision medicine tool that will help health workers determine the most effective contraceptive options for their populations. However, they had to rely on retrospective survey data, which can be outdated and difficult to analyze.

In 2020-2021, team members will use the existing research tools to conduct analysis of contraceptive use in the US and Kenya (or another African country) as revealed by social media data and develop a current data source to share with policymakers, stakeholders and advocates.

Contact Amy Finnegan or Megan Huchko for more details. 

In conjunction with Dr. Huchko’s study team, students will have the opportunity to join two team based projects:

1. Understanding HPV-related stigma among HIV-infected women in Kenya

Summary: Cervical cancer, a highly preventable and treatable disease, is disproportionately represented in low- and middle-income countries. This is largely due to inadequate access of screening and treatment services, lack of a trained health workforce, and implementation gaps in current prevention and treatment guidelines. In Kenya, these realities are all too apparent. Cervical cancer is the most frequent cancer among Kenyan women and national screening rates are currently less than 5%. Dr. Megan Huchko has partnered with the Kenya Medical Research Institute and the Kenyan Ministry of Health for the past five years to develop community-based strategies to improve access to cervical cancer screening and linkage to treatment. The need to measure cervical cancer stigma and provide greater support to patients and community health care workers have emerged as two complementary barriers for screening acceptance and uptake.

2. Understanding the Impact of the Global Gag Rule on Health Care providers in Western Kenya

Summary: Since 1985, every Republican administration has instituted restrictions on US donor funding for reproductive health, family planning and abortion. In 2017, the most stringent guidelines were placed on funding. To augment a quantitative policy and financing study, we are seeking to understand the impact of the Global Gag Rule on local facilities and providers, to see where other funders have filled the gaps and where providers feel that clinical care has been compromised.

Contact Megan Huchko for more details. 

More information coming soon! 

Contact Aarushi Venkatakrishnan for more details. 

More details coming soon! 

Contact Amber Fleck for more details.

mSaada is a mobile phone application intended for use by community health volunteers (CHVs) during cervical cancer screening in Western Kenya. The app has multiple features including patient education and counseling materials, protocol support for CHVs, and patient data collection capabilities, to name a few. We hope the app will increase patient understanding of HPV and cervical cancer and act as an efficient and effective resource for CHVs throughout the screening process, leading to greater uptake of cervical cancer screening and treatment services and ultimately improved health outcomes for Kenyan women. Since the app was recently developed and has not yet been tested within Kenyan health facilities, the goal of my thesis has been to lead a 3-month pilot test and elicit quantitative and qualitative feedback from CHVs regarding the app’s usability and acceptability.

For questions, contact Jacob Stocks