Student Story

Emergency Preparedness in Peru

During the summer of 2016, Jade McLaughlin ’17 and Madellena Thornton ’17 worked as Global Health Initiative interns at Hospital Cayetano Heredia (HCH) in Lima, Peru. Their work on emergency preparedness focused on the willingness of healthcare workers to respond in a disaster.

by Madellena Thornton ‘17

The eight districts in Northern Lima stricken by poverty are incredibly vulnerable to devastation from a natural or biological disaster due to the lack of first-response services, potentially collapsible and densely clustered housing, and enormous education and income disparities. Hospital Cayetano Heredia (HCH), a general level III-1 hospital, constitutes one of three hospitals in the Ministry of Health in Northern Lima. Among the three hospitals, there are fewer than 900 beds. With a population of 2.75 million people, these hospitals together have insufficient capacity for healthcare, overwhelmed emergency services, and large gaps in disaster risk management for the population that they serve.

The CDC and an Interconnected World

Victoria Chi ‘17

When we think about the mission of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)—to protect the health of Americans—we often think about addressing domestic health issues, or about coordinating emergency responses to global disease epidemics. Both of these are so vitally important. Yet in this increasingly interconnected world, equally important is the need to improve the health and well-being of people in countries across the globe, and to steadily build the public health capacity of all nations to respond to disease threats.

Over winter term 2016, I worked as an intern in the policy office of the Center for Global Health within the CDC. Throughout this internship, I watched and learned from the people who are working every day to ensure that all people have access to the most fundamental of human rights: the right to good health. I was exposed to the myriad programs and initiatives that exist to improve the health of populations and to strengthen health care systems, and I recognized that bolstering the health and capacity of countries abroad makes the entire world safer from the spread of disease.

Students Attend Matariki Global Citizenship Meeting

A group of 27 faculty and students from six partner institutions in the Matariki Network of Universities (MNU) came together for a multi-institutional, faculty-student workshop in Uppsala, Sweden, April 18-21, 2016. It was the first meeting of the Global Citizenship Programme. The Dartmouth delegation included Dickey Center Associate Director for Programs and Research and Adjunct Professor, Melody Brown Burkins (PhD ’98), Victor Cabrera ’19, and Freya Jamison ’17 as well as Assistant Provost Laurel Stavis and Research Professor Ron Edsforth.

The event focused on developing the future of the new Global Citizenship Programme, which aims to set up substantial links and projects around global citizenship between and within partner universities. The programme can cover both education and research, along with outreach activities, but it initially is focused on the following strands:

Polar Passion

February 2016

The Dartmouth Engineering Magazine this month has a story about Thayer PhD graduate student Alden Adolph, who accompanied fifteen high school students to Greenland last summer with the Joint Science Education Project (JSEP), funded by the National Science Foundation. JSEP is run jointly by the Institute of Arctic Studies at the Dickey Center for International Understanding and the Government of Greenland. The students are from the US, Greenland and Denmark.

Adolph was accompanied by Thayer PhD candidate Amber Whelsky and Lauren Culler, Co-PI of JSEP and a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Arctic Studies. Adolph and Culler were students in the Polar Environmental Change IGERT. 

Oh, Canada!

October 22, 2015

Leehi Yona '16, a Senior Fellow Stamps Scholar, and Presidential Fellow with Professor Ross Virginia in environmental studies, has published an editorial in the Montreal Gazette on expectations for newly-elected Justin Trudeau. Her editorial, "On climate change, Justin Trudeau's positive rhetoric won't be enough," calls on Trudeau to go beyond his "In Canada, better is always possible" rhetoric. She writes, "The positive rhetoric is welcome, but it is not enough. Canadians expect him to work hard toward positive climate action for the future of young generations."

Read her entire op-ed.

Peace by Design

by Hilary Johnson '15 and Gurkaran Singh '15

Educated and empowered women are fundamental to sustainable peace and thriving communities. In Ghana, especially in the slums, women are not seen as valuable financial contributors, which results in domestic violence, child marriages, and unequal access to education.

With support from Davis Projects for Peace, we worked with Tech Needs Girls, a Ghanaian mentorship program for girls ages 10 to 18, led Regina Agyare, an incredible female role model for her students. Tech Needs Girls helps girls to be innovators and leaders by teaching them technical skills while encouraging them to pursue tech careers. Through skill development and internship opportunities, young women are able to command respect and shape their own destinies. Families no longer see their daughters as liabilities to be married away at a young age, but rather as capable contributors who deserve investment.

On Shaky Ground: Working to Rebuild Nepal

The following is a report from Human Development Fellow Kripa Dongol '16 who had been on the Geography Foreign Study Program (FSP) in Prague before returning to her home country of Nepal to help with disaster relief following the April 25th earthquake. Kripa sent this update on May 14th.  

For more on Kripa's and other Dartmouth students' work in Nepal see this recent Dartmouth Now article.
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I've been in Kathmandu the last few days. I was on the Geography FSP in Prague when the first quake hit and came home a week after to help in any way I could.

In my first week here I went to the headquarters of Dhading and Sindhupalchowk Districts to deliver medical supplies to the District Health Office along with One Heart Worldwide - an organization that Prof. Craig has worked with and I interned with last winter.

Reflections on Living and Working in Rwanda

by Kelly Everhart MS, MIV, Geisel School of Medicine 

Rwandan Ministry of Health

We landed in Kigali around 10 pm, 30 hours after leaving Boston Logan. The first thing I noticed about Rwanda’s capital city were the lights — on approach to the airport, instead of the haphazard array of neon and LED lights I associate with US or European cities, we flew over thousands of yellow sodium and low-wattage fluorescent street lights. Few, very few, lights fell outside of the linear arrangement lining (some of) Kigali’s streets — I later learned that the homes which do have access to electricity conserve it tightly, since electricity is an expensive commodity here.

The second thing I noticed blew in through the aircraft’s open doors once we were parked on the tarmac — smoke, the smell of a whole city’s cooking fires. But, coupled with the many military and policemen carrying semi-automatics patrolling the airport and the history of the 1994 Genocide I had finished on the plane, the smoke elicited apprehensive thoughts in my mind, so incongruent with the friendly hospitality I now associate with the same smell.

Little Devices Lab Creates Tech to Improve Global Healthcare

by Kaira Lujan '16, Little Devices Lab, MIT

Winter term 2015 I was working at Little Devices Lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The lab is a part of the International Design Center, a collaboration between the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) and MIT. The main focus of the lab is to create accessible healthcare tech to improve global healthcare. One of the ways the lab does this is by solving problems using innovative ways to hack existing resources. Some examples of what they have done in the past include creating a solar autoclave (the solarclave) for sterilization in locations off the grid, and designing a foot pump nebulizer for medicine administration (in areas without consistent utility connections).

Improving Water, Improving Health in Ecuador

by Alex Lopez '15

In Winter 2015, Doug Phipps ’17 spent eight weeks teaching health education at primary and secondary schools in Muisne, Ecuador. Apart from teaching, Doug worked with the organization Water Ecuador to design and carry out a survey on water consumption and perception. Situated on the island of Muisne, Doug had the unique opportunity to immerse himself in a completely new environment and community with the Water Ecuador team, while building upon his existing Spanish language skills and making new friends with the members of his host organization and local community.

"Living in a rural Ecuadorean town without English speaking companions not only made me improve my Spanish,” says Doug, “it enabled me to hear locals' stories and to learn more about myself." 

Water Ecuador aims to improve health in Ecuador through research, water purification kiosks, and education. The organization runs water purification centers in three towns on the coast of Ecuador, where the locals that run the Center purify water, fill 20-liter jugs, and sell them for one dollar.

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