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2022 Symposium

Welcome to the 5th Vanderbilt Global Health Symposium!  This year, the Symposium will take place in-person assuming CDC COVID-19 guidelines allow for in-person gatherings. It will occur on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, from 4:00-7:30 PM CT on Vanderbilt's campus in the Commons 235/237 MultiPurpose Room.

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2022 Symposium Presentors and Projects

Rebecca Lee

Bio: I am a 2nd year Master of Public Health student in the Global Health Track. I am involved in global health efforts at Vanderbilt by working in Emerging Infection Program, Lwala Community Alliance, and the VIGH Student Advisory Council. I am interested in the field of global health, oncology, and infectious diseases.

Project: Comparing the frequency of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern among vaccinated and unvaccinated COVID-19 cases

Abstract: All U.S. adults are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccinations, which is a sigh of relief for nearing herd immunity. However, it’s worrisome to see certain vaccine breakthrough cases among those fully vaccinated even after the 2 weeks of full immunity. There are SARS-CoV-2 variant strains that originated from different regions, so it is crucial to analyze characteristics that are common among the breakthrough cases. This practicum examines vaccine breakthrough cases and describes certain demographics and several underlying medical conditions to determine if there is a trend or pattern among the different variants. 

Nathan Shlobin and Joseline Haizel-Cobbina MBChB, MPH


Schlobin Bio: Nathan A. Shlobin is an MD/MBA student at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and Kellogg School of Management pursuing a career in neurosurgery. He has interests in global health, ethics, and palliative care.

Haizel-Cobbina bio: Dr. Joseline (Josie) Haizel-Cobbina is the Program Manager for the Vanderbilt Global Neurosurgery Program (VGNP). Prior to joining VIGH, she worked as an International Health Fellow with Minnesota Department of Health, where she worked on CDC’s Malaria Prevention Project to reduce the incidence of imported malaria cases among the immigrant and refugee population in Minnesota.

Originally from Ghana, West Africa, Josie received her a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology and her medical degree from the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in 2015 and worked as a medical officer in low-resource settings for 3 years before moving to the United States. She obtained her MPH degree in Public Health Administration and Policy with a minor in Health Equity at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in 2018. Josie’s clinical and public health interests are in pediatric and global neurosurgery and eliminating health disparities.

Project: Global Epidemiology of Craniosynostosis: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Abstract: Craniosynostosis leads to craniofacial deformity and may result in raised intracranial pressure, neurocognitive deficits, and psychosocial issues if left untreated. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the global birth prevalence of craniosynostosis.

Calla Reed

Bio: Calla Reed is a Vanderbilt senior double majoring in Medicine, Health and Society and Biology with a minor in African-American and Diaspora Studies. Having spent her sophomore year working in the RASR Lab on Alzheimer’s health disparities and her junior year working in the Vector-Borne Diseases Division of the TN Department of Health, she completed this nutrition independent study the first semester of her senior year. Post-graduation this May, she plans on taking her research skills and nutritional knowledge to join the health sector of Peace Corps in Zambia this upcoming August.

Project: Global Nutrition through Course Development in the Age of COVID-19

Abstract: This independent study proposed, designed and continuously develops the university’s first global nutrition course in the College of Arts and Sciences, with an emphasized focus on global nutrition in the age of COVID-19. It is designed to build upon and expand knowledge concerning nutrition by examining common nutritional challenges through a non-Western lens. Methods: This proposed course analyzes the risk factors that can lead to nutritional and/or food disparities across the globe, significantly contributing to the Global Burden of Disease (GBD). Additionally, the aim of the proposed course is to decentralize the student’s perspective around nutrition, as they learn the unique challenges and requirements concerning nutrition for each global region, for their specific country of interest, and for various communities and environmental settings in the age of COIVD-19. Topics of interest to be addressed include: undernutrition, overnutrition, food security, nutrition security, global water scarcity, impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) on global nutrition burden, and an introduction to nutritional epidemiology. Result: Many countries, specifically developing countries that had high-risk of food insecurity pre-COVID, have additional food scarcity and malnutrition in the age of COVID. Focusing specifically on Zambia, as a student example of the specific country of interest research that will be conducted in the course, childhood stunting has remained high during the age of COVID-19, and further research and stronger nutritional policies will need to be proposed in this country and coordinated with COVID-19 relief efforts. Conclusion: While this course is still developing as the global pandemic continues, the proposal and development of this course would greatly benefit the undergraduate and graduate students at Vanderbilt University as nutrition is a key sector of global health.

Juliana Yang and Ellie Han


Yang Bio: Juliana Yang is a first-year chemical and biomolecular engineering Ph.D. student in Professor Sharon Weiss’s group. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology in 2021. She is interested in developing innovative technology solutions to global health challenges.  Her current research focus is on porous silicon-based biosensors.

Han Bio: Han is a second-year undergraduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences studying political science on the pre-medicine track. Her interests include global public health, suboxone addiction research and pre-departure global studies education. She is passionate about addressing global health inequities. 

Project: Strategies for improving supervision of African doctoral students

Abstract: Africa accounts for approximately 16% of the world’s population and carries nearly a quarter of the global disease burden, yet it lags behind the rest of the world in research and development, contributing less than 1% of the global research output. Poor higher education infrastructure, including the lack of institutional standardized policies and procedures and funding support, may be attributed to the sparse production of Ph.D. scientists to solve the continent’s major challenges. Hence, improving the quality of Africa’s doctoral education system is essential to create a hub of self-sufficient scientists to lead innovation in areas not limited to high-quality research, teaching, and policy formation. Supervision has particularly been noted to play a pivotal role in students’ completion of their doctoral programs. Moreover, many returnees to Africa’s academia from abroad have struggled to adjust due to the absence of a support system. Therefore, the implementation of formal and regular supervision training would benefit both doctoral students and supervisors. The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) has been engaged in capacity-building activities at the University of Zambia (UNZA) since 2019, and it recently received funding to develop a research and training center at the University of Liberia. Informed by peer-reviewed journals in higher education, we are developing a doctoral supervision guide to support these existing and upcoming VIGH initiatives in African countries. The guide explores the current state of doctoral supervision in Africa and the challenges and opportunities it presents. Further, it expands on practices in doctoral supervision and discusses the introduction of these practices to African universities.

Quentin Eichbaum MD, PhD, MPH, MFA, MMHC, FCAP and Elizabeth Rose EdD, MEd, MPH


Eichbaum Bio: Quentin Eichbaum, MD, PhD, MPH, MFA, MMHC, FCAP was born and raised in Namibia and South Africa. He studied law at the University of Cape Town and then completed his MD, MPH, PhD/postdoctoral studies at Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston followed by residency and fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital. He is Professor of Pathology, Microbiology and immunology and Professor of Medical Education and Administration at Vanderbilt University where he also directs the a fellowship in pathology, as well as the Pathology Program in Global Health and the Vanderbilt Pathology Education Research Group. He serves on numerous national and international global health education and pathology committees, including the Global Transfusion Forum at AABB, International Affairs Committee at ASFA, and Consortium of Universities for Global Health. He co-founded the Consortium of New Sub-Sahara African Medical Schools and is involved in health professional education and clinical medicine in several African countries.

Rose Bio: Elizabeth S. Rose, Ed.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., is a Co-director for the Global Health track in the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Program and a Global Health Education Specialist at the Vanderbilt institute for Global Health (VIGH). Dr. Rose directs medical and public health student immersion and research courses as well as collaborates with faculty at universities in Africa to design capacity strengthening programs. She has a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) with a concentration in Organizational Leadership Studies and her dissertation focused on the experiences of sub-Sahara African academic biomedical researchers to learn more about their experiences, leadership development, and perception of research partnerships. Her professional passion lies at the intersection of education and health in helping others enhance their skill sets to lead their communities to improved health outcomes.

Project: Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Global Health Education Programs and Scholarship

Abstract: At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was uncertain how global health education and research programs at academic institutions would be impacted by reduced travel and funding. This study was conducted to understand the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on global health programs. We aimed to gather insight from educators, researchers, and administrators to ascertain the impact of the pandemic on such programs.

Holly Cassell MPH and Elizabeth Rose EdD, MEd, MPH


Cassell Bio: Holly Cassell, M.P.H. is the Assistant Director for Collaborative Relationships at the Vanderbilt institute for Global Health (VIGH). Ms. Cassell has over fifteen years of experience developing, managing, and directing global research and training programs, with an emphasis on building partnerships and developing capacity among VIGH partner organizations. She joined VIGH in 2007 and has been integral to the development of services and infrastructure that have supported and empowered VIGH to grow strategically and operate effectively. In her former position as the Assistant Director for Education and Training and Grant Development, she supported more than 100 international students and faculty, many of whom have progressed in their careers and are now mentoring a new generation of global health leaders. Ms. Cassell is a creative leader in enhancing global health partnerships and has unique expertise in building research capacity in low- and middle- income countries (LMICs).

Rose Bio: Elizabeth S. Rose, Ed.D., M.P.H., M.Ed., is a Co-director for the Global Health track in the Master of Public Health (M.P.H.) Program and a Global Health Education Specialist at the Vanderbilt institute for Global Health (VIGH). Dr. Rose directs medical and public health student immersion and research courses as well as collaborates with faculty at universities in Africa to design capacity strengthening programs. She has a Doctorate in Education (Ed.D.) with a concentration in Organizational Leadership Studies and her dissertation focused on the experiences of sub-Sahara African academic biomedical researchers to learn more about their experiences, leadership development, and perception of research partnerships. Her professional passion lies at the intersection of education and health in helping others enhance their skill sets to lead their communities to improved health outcomes.

Project: Strengthening research capacity through an intensive training program for biomedical investigators from low- and middle-income countries: The Vanderbilt Institute for Research Development and Ethics (VIRDE)

Abstract: Capacity strengthening initiatives aimed at increasing research knowledge and skills of investigators in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) have been implemented over the last several decades. With increased capacity, local investigators will have greater leadership in defining research priorities and impact policy change to help improve health outcomes. Evaluations of models of capacity strengthening programs are often limited to short-term impact. Noting the limitations of traditional output-based evaluations, we utilized a broader framework to evaluate the long-term impact of the Vanderbilt Institute in Research Development and Ethics (VIRDE), a decade-old intensive grant development practicum specifically tailored for investigators from LMICs.

Teresa Xu and Ike Obi Advised by Elizabeth Rose EdD, MEd, MPH


Xu Bio: Teresa Xu is a third-year undergraduate student studying Medicine, Health, and Society alongside Sociology and English Literature. She is an intern with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health's Education and Training team, and she is honored to be presenting at this year’s Global Health Symposium. Throughout her time at Vanderbilt, she has grown increasingly interested in addressing inequities and improving inclusivity in all social spheres, especially health.

Obi Bio: My name is Ikenna (Ike) Obi and I am a graduating senior studying psychology and MHS with a concentration in Global Health. My interest in Global Health stems from my desire to give back to my native community in Nigeria, where life is not as convenient as it is here in the US. This passion led me to pursue my role as president of Vanderbilt MEDLIFE, an organization dedicated to working with low-income areas across the globe. After traveling with MEDLIFE, taking related coursework, and working alongside VIGH staff, I have learned so much about the ways unintended consequences can befall even the best-intentioned global endeavors. I want to use what I have learned from my experiences to enlighten undergraduates and anyone interested in serving their Global Community on how to do so intently, and with goals, wishes, and wellbeing of the community as the number one priority.

Project: Traveling Abroad with Cultural Humility: An Aspect of Decolonizing Global Health

Abstract: While international collaborations to address global health issues have increased, colonial legacies persist, and research points to the importance of decolonizing global health as a field. Students at Vanderbilt and other parts of the Global North often engage in short-term global health experiences (STGHEs), such as service or medical trips abroad, but they may bring cultural biases and “white savior behavior” that can harm those they wish to help. In an effort to promote a more culturally competent and respectful approach to global health issues and travel among Vanderbilt undergraduate students, we developed a workshop to encourage reflection on the purposes of serving abroad, the global significance of one’s social identity, the implications of power in global travel, and the importance of cultural humility. 

Connie Hu

Bio: Hu is an undergraduate second-year at Vanderbilt University majoring in both Medicine, Health, and Society as well as Molecular and Cellular Biology. She is a current intern with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health and her current research focus is on training programs for university faculty in low- and middle- income countries.

Project: Survey Data Analysis of ULCHS Mentoring Workship Effectivity

Abstract: In 2021, the Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health (VIGH) partnered with Yale University and the University of Liberia College of Health Sciences (ULCHS) to establish an academic network and structure to strengthen Liberia’s education, research, and health sectors. Together, the three universities formed the Bringing Research to Impact for Development, Global Engagement, and Utilization (BRIDGE-U) program through funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). As part of this endeavor, the VIGH provided a week-long mentor training workshop for ULCHS faculty to offer training in mentorship theory and effective techniques for master’s and doctoral program students. The workshop program was adapted from the Clayton-Deondar Global Health Mentorship Fellows Program co-developed by VIGH and the University of Zambia in 2018. During the initial 2021 introduction of the mentoring program to ULCHS, pre-workshop and post-workshop surveys were conducted to gather crucial data to evaluate the program’s effectiveness in Liberia. Analysis of survey results revealed increases in personal mentoring skill competencies and decreases in ULCHS mentoring culture evaluation scores after participation in the mentoring workshop. Mentoring culture evaluation score decreases are hypothesized to be due to an increased awareness of improvements the ULCHS mentoring culture could undergo. Overall program evaluation was highly positive with unanimous recommendation of the workshop to colleagues.

Megan Davis and Stanley Zhao


Davis Bio: Megan Davis is a first-year MPH candidate on the Global Health Track. Megan is from Knoxville, Tennessee and graduated from Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science. She currently works for the Vanderbilt Institute of Global Health on projects that aid resource-limited settings in implementing sustainable and scalable education and training programs. Megan worked with the Grants Administration International Network (GAIN) Program, and helped conduct a program evaluation on the pre and post-surveys to assess the effectiveness of the training program.

Zhao Bio: Stanley Zhao is currently a sophomore from New York studying public policy and economics. He is currently an intern with the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s Education and Training Team. He hopes to gain a better understanding of the intersection between global health policy initiatives and economic development. 

Project: Evaluation of the Grants Administration International Network (GAIN) Training Program

Abstract: In a collaboration between the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH), Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), and leaders from 11 major foreign collaborating sites, administrators developed the Grants Administration International Network (GAIN) Training Program. This program aims to strengthen grant management competencies among administrative leaders in low and middle-income countries by enhancing skills needed to effectively lead sponsored projects, grants administration training programs, and grants administration teams. Participants are university and NGO grant administrators who have funded
programs collaborating with VUMC,/VIGH and a desire to develop core pre-and post-award leadership competencies through an active learning course structure.

Serena Musungu

Bio: Serena Musungu is a third year student at Vanderbilt University, where she is majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society with a concentration in Global Health and a minor in Human and Organizational Development. Born and raised in DRC, she initiated the project in 2020 through the combination of her background and deep interest in public health to improve the living conditions in her community.

In her free time, she likes to knit while watching a kid shows.

Project: The Bopetoli Project

Abstract: The Bopetoli project is a recent initiative developed in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The name "Bopetoli", which translates from Lingala to "Cleanliness", refers to the need for hygiene expressed by many orphanages across the capital. The project supports the fight against certain diseases, urinary and genital infections, and other health problems linked to unsanitary facilities through physical renovations and health education.

Lorely Chavez

Bio: Lorely Chávez is a first-generation Latina graduate student from California studying Latin American Studies and Public Health in the Global Health Track. She aims to address diversity in the health field by prioritizing intentional program evaluation with a cultural competence lens to minimize health disparities in accessing health resources.

Project: Strategies to address healthwork force support during a pandemic in Guatemala

Abstract: COVID-19 has affected the world’s population health and general living; however, with innovations and the introduction to possible protections there are optimistic views toward ending the pandemic. Yet in rural locations of Palajunoj Valley of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, this is not the case just yet. General access to health, exacerbated by the pandemic, has been difficult for families living in the rural highlands. The Primeros Pasos clinic goes to great lengths to minimize the health disparities families face in the Valley. The clinic now has additional COVID-19 related obstacles (e.g. over filled clinics, lack of supplies, and over worked healthcare workers and physicians). The overall objective of this practicum was to analyze these barriers to gain insight into how best to support Primeros Pasos physicians and healthcare.

Ash Lauren Rogers

Bio: Ash Rogers is Co-Chief Executive Officer of Lwala Community Alliance. Lwala matches community-led change with university-backed research and evaluation to advance quality health for all. Lwala’s community-led health model has led to reductions in child mortality and increases in skilled delivery rates, contraceptive prevalence, and immunization coverage. Lwala is a partner of the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health. Prior to Lwala, Ash was the Director of Operations at Segal Family Foundation, overseeing a $12m portfolio of 180 grantees. Ash is a Global Health Corps alum and has worked with organizations including Komo Learning Centres, HELP International, and the U.S. Department of State. Ash serves as a board member of the Community Health Impact Coalition, Orkeeswa and Komo Learning Centres. Ash holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington and a BA in Political Science from Brigham Young University.

Project: Predictors of under-five healthcare utilization in Rongo sub-county of Migori County, Kenya: results of a population-based cross-sectional survey

Abstract: To achieve the sustainable development goal for child survival, we must better understand the socioeconomic characteristics, household behaviors and access to community health services which predict care utilization for children. This study assessed predictors of health care utilization for children under five in Migori County, Kenya.

Kevin Nguyen

Bio: Kevin Nguyen is a recent graduate from Vanderbilt University with dual degrees in Neuroscience and Medicine, Health, and Society. He has a keen interest in medicine and public health: having interned for the Vanderbilt MPH program, contact traced for the Colorado Dept. of Public Health and Environment, and researched for the Kennedy Krieger Institute and National Institute of Mental Health. He plans to attend medical school in hopes of addressing both the biological and social aspects of health.

Project: Current Assessment of Suicide Research on Youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Abstract: As the second leading cause of death among youth ages 10-24, suicide is a predominant public health concern. Of note, youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder are significantly more likely to die by suicide compared to their neurotypical peers. Youth with ASD face varying levels of cognitive and intellectual disabilities; these disabilities present challenges when utilizing traditional measures or screening tools for suicidal behavior and suicidal ideation. Given the lack of validated screening tools combined with the increased rates of suicide among youth with ASD, under-detection of suicide risks factors within health care settings is a critical concern. In conducting a literature review of recent papers on suicide and youth with ASD, the review concludes that youth with ASD face significant psychological and demographic comorbidities that impact rates of suicidal ideation and behavior. To address this public health concern, new suicide screening tools should be developed that acknowledge cognitive limitations within the ASD population. In doing so, not only will data regarding suicidal ideation and behavior be more robust but suicidal intervention could be more effective.

John Paul Libanati

Bio: John Paul Libanati is a sophomore at Vanderbilt University who is passionate about medical service and discovering methods for providing sustained healthcare to underserved and forgotten communities. He is studying biomedical engineering and philosophy on the pre-medical track. He is honored to have this opportunity to present on his experience and research.

Project: Improving Voluntourism: An Investigation of Effective, Sustainable International Altruism

Abstract: Volunteer tourism or “voluntourism” has recently suffered many attacks not only for its failure to provide sustainable change for developing communities, but also for its contribution to systems of human trafficking and exploitation among individuals, particularly children, in the communities being served. Many strategies have been proposed to better balance the service and consumer interests of voluntourists and the advancement of the wellbeing of local communities. Through personal experience in a medical internship with Volunteers Around the World: Global Health Alliances (VAW Global) and through several discussions with various administrators of this organization, I seek to deepen current research on the possible positive effects of voluntourism. In this presentation, I examine the potential global benefits which a change in the perception and modeling of voluntourism might elicit. I particularly investigate the roles of community based partnerships, local leadership, and program sustainability in building positive voluntourism organizations. Finally, I comment on actionable steps which potential voluntourists can take to ensure that their actions lead to the development of communities abroad rather than perpetuating cycles of abuse and exploitation.

Sarah Grossarth

Bio: Sarah Grossarth is a second-year Masters of Public Health student, in the Global Health Track. She is matriculating to medical school this summer and is passionate about pediatric research.

Project: Program Evaluation of Helping Babies Breathe Intervention in Migori County, Kenya

Abstract: Lwala Community Alliance is a nonprofit organization that aims to help rural communities in Kenya improve their own wellbeing. ​Currently, Lwala is providing care to 125,000 individuals and continuing to improve their health systems delivery and access to care. ​For me, this practicum position was remote due to COVID-19 and based in Nashville, TN. ​My primary project consisted of developing a protocol for evaluating the Helping Babies Breathe Intervention. ​Helping Babies Breathe (HBB) is a training program established by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) to educate health workers on how to successfully intervene and resuscitate neonates within a minute after birth (the golden minute). This curriculum trains health workers on how to evaluate a baby at birth and help stimulate breathing or resuscitation by completing ventilation using a bag and mask. This technique is designed to reduce neonatal mortality.

Heather Jordan MPH and Christian Ketel, DNP, RN, FNAP


Jordan Bio: Heather Jordan is a Program Manager at VIGH supporting the PEPFAR-funded Avante Zambézia project implemented by Friends in Global Health (FGH) in Mozambique. Between August 2021 and March 2022 she volunteered as a Spanish language medical interpreter with the Vanderbilt Mobile Vaccination Program (VMVP), assisting patients receiving the COVID-19 vaccine at VMVP pop-up events. She is grateful for the opportunity to support the VMVP and help increase vaccine access in our community. She looks forward to sharing that experience at the VIGH Symposium.

Ketel Bio: Dr. Ketel is currently an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN). He has over 15 years of experience designing, implementing, and evaluating healthcare systems benefitting medically vulnerable populations. Over the past year, Dr. Ketel has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the Vanderbilt Mobile Vaccine Program (VMVP), which provides COVID-19 vaccines to the uninsured and others who might not otherwise have access to the vaccine. He was recently honored, along with his colleague Dr. Carrie Plummer, with Vanderbilt’s 2022 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for their leadership of the VMVP.

Project: Global Health with Local Impact: Lessons Learned from the Mobile COVID19 Vaccination Campaign

Abstract: The Vanderbilt Mobile Vaccination Program (VMVP) was launched in March 2021 as a joint venture between Vanderbilt University School of Nursing (VUSN) and Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC). The aims of the VMVP are: 1) increase the number of vulnerable and medically underserved individuals vaccinated for COVID-19, 2) decrease vaccine hesitancy in vulnerable populations, and 3) provide a platform for Vanderbilt faculty, staff, and students to serve the Middle Tennessee community and mitigate the impact of COVID-19. The VMVP targets a range of vulnerable populations. Specifically, the VMVP prioritizes individuals and families from low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, medically underserved, homeless, and non-English speaking backgrounds in both urban and rural areas. This catchment population encompasses a wide and diverse range of cultures, including a large number of community members who are recent immigrants and refugees. 

Alexander Mina

Bio: Alexander Mina is an M3 at VUSM with a background in biomedical engineering from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.  During his time in medical school, he developed an interest in pediatric surgery and is excited about combining this interest with his passion for global health and service.

Project #1: A Comparison of Two-Hour, One-Hour and Zero-Hour Clears Fasting Policies on Patient-Centered Outcomes for Pediatric Surgery at AIC Kijabe Hospital

Abstract #1: Prior to surgery, a child must remain NPO for a set amount of time from solids, liquids, and clears. However, most children have an unnecessarily prolonged fasting time causing dehydration, hunger, and distress to families while awaiting an operation. Guidelines for preoperative fasting in children have shifted in recent years toward a decreased interval for clear liquids, with guidelines released in 2022 supporting 6-hour fast for solid food, 3-hour for breastmilk, and 1-hour for clear liquids (6-3-1). This shift has conferred physiologic, practical and psychosocial benefits without increasing risk. While the majority evidence has accumulated in support of a 1-hour clear liquid fasting interval, multiple centers have published reports on thousands of patients in support of a zero-hour clear liquid fasting interval. At AIC Kijabe many factors contribute to unpredictable case start times that may prolong a child’s NPO interval.

Project #2: Outcomes and Complications of Pediatric Central Venous Catheter Placement in the Developing World

Abstract #2: Significant effort has gone into reducing the incidence of central line-associated blood stream infections (CLABSI) globally. In high-income countries, the rate of CLABSI varies between 0.2 to 3 per 1000 catheter-days. However, the incidence of CLABI in Sub-Saharan African populations, remains largely unknown. This study investigated the CLABSI rate and potential risk factors in a resource-limited setting.

Stefan Koester

Bio: My name is Stefan, and I am from Scottsdale, Arizona. I studied Physiology at the University of Arizona and then a Masters in Management from London Business School. I am interested in Neurosurgery, specifically the business and global end, including operating room efficiency, cost, and global surgery/epidemiology. A few things people may not know about me: I drive a 46 year old Swiss Military 12 passenger army truck, my family has had 4 golden retrievers at a single time, and I lived in London on Abbey Road where the Beatles took their famous album cover picture.

Project: Current State of Cerebrovascular Disease Epidemiology in the Global Pediatric Population

Abstract: Prior literature has shown neurosurgical care is limited in large regions of the world(1). Furthermore, pediatric neurosurgery has been described as being grossly insufficient in terms of both workforce and facilities in low and middle-income countries where the need is the greatest(2). Defining the incidence of pediatric cerebrovascular disease may help to better define neurosurgical need and inform future health initiatives to fill gaps in neurosurgical care globally.

Kristyne Dayanne Mansilla Dubón MD

Bio: Kristyne Mansilla is a Master of Public Health (MPH) student in the Global Health Track, at Vanderbilt University. She is a scholar in the Fulbright Foreign Student Program and David Satcher Public Health Scholars Program scholarship recipient. Kristyne is from Guatemala, where she completed a medical degree, has worked on several public health projects, has worked on HIV programs, and conducted implementation science research on non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in rural Guatemala During her MPH, Kristyne has worked doing research in Maternal and Child health. She is focused on helping underserved populations access quality medical care and achieve equitable human development.

Project: HIV knowledge among pregnant women living with HIV in South Africa

Abstract: South Africa has a considerable HIV burden, with 7.8 million people living with HIV.1 Pregnant women represent a vulnerable group with stable prevalence of 30% over the past decade, despite the country’s advances in management of the disease.2 Antiretroviral therapy (ART) and antenatal counseling are the core to prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV. This study sought to describe HIV knowledge and ART adherence among pregnant women with HIV in Cape Town, South Africa.

Josanda Addo

Bio: My name is Josanda Addo, and I am a senior majoring in Medicine, Health, and Society with a concentration in Global Health. I am interested in alleviating public health inequities for members of the disabled community.

Project: Addressing the Low Vaccination Rates in Rural Louisiana

Abstract: Louisiana has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the United States. Many of the residents in rural areas are not getting vaccinated due to a number of factors: resources pertaining to the coronavirus are complicated to navigate and inaccessible, misconceptions about the pathology and severity of the virus are widely believed, and the majority of the current vaccine clinics are concentrated in urban areas.