Summer Reflections & New Faces at ETH
Hello ETH Family, It’s been some time since you last heard from us, and we have several updates to share! Transitions -The first of these updates is changes to the core Empower Through Health team and a new face on the Ugandan side.
There have been some notable changes in position within ETH. Chairperson Jae Lee will step down from his position as Executive Director to leave more room for medical residency and strategic planning of the organization. Taking his place is Scott Blackwell, Secretary of the ETH board, who took over in June for a 1-year term as the American Executive Director. Jae will continue as chairman of the ETH board. At ETH-U, Kazungu Rauben has taken over as Ugandan Executive Director while former Director Ibrahim Ssekalo begins a Ph.D. in public health at University of Bern in Switzerland.
Last month we welcomed a new Field Director for the 2022-2023 year, Emery Monnig. Emery is a recent graduate of the Ohio State University, where he majored in chemical engineering. During the coming year, he hopes to focus on upcoming research projects and partnerships with university chapters. Emery says some of his goals for his tenure as Field Director are to expand the clinic's outreaches to more communities near Mpunde, and to strengthen ETH's public health research programs. Stay tuned for future newsletters written by Emery!
We warmly welcome Emery to the team, and look forward to seeing Scott and Kazungu work as leaders toward their goals for the organization.
Partnership with Engineers Without Borders Wash U -Over the course of the last year, Empower Through Health has partnered with the Wash U chapter of EWB to plan and install a rainwater collection system at the Bulubandi Primary School. By collecting and storing rainwater, the device provides students with access to a reliable source of clean water throughout the day. In the future, the group also intends to connect the water collection system to a local borehole pump, further ensuring access to clean water throughout the year. Following installation of the collection system, students plan to build rooms dedicated to improving menstrual hygiene at the school.
Reflecting on GHEF - Last month, the second session of 2022 Global Health Experiential Fellowship concluded, and we are happy to report that this year’s GHEF was a success! Across two 6-week sessions, we welcomed thirteen undergraduate students to Mpunde, where they worked alongside four Ugandan fellows from the public health masters program at Uganda Christian University. Operating in Mpunde and surrounding villages in the district, fellows conducted public health interventions promoting mental health destigmatization or helminth infection prevention. Fellows coordinated with local village health team representatives to develop skits conveying information to the community about these public health issues. They also conducted over 260 surveys in different villages of Buyende district on the prevalence of mental health disorders and helminthic infections, as well as residents’ understanding of and attitudes toward them.
Second session GHEF fellows meet with district Village Health Teams (VHTs) for project planning
Since the fellowship’s conclusion, there have already been signs that the work conducted by ETH fellows has had a tangible impact on the communities of our catchment. Notably, a significant increase in psychiatric patients coming to the health center has been reported in the last few months, suggesting the fellows’ outreaches around mental health destigmatization have successfully reached larger populations. Such an increase in intake will help us build tighter-knit relationships with our target communities, a vital part of developing better health outcomes throughout Buyende district.
Those interested in joining us for next year's GHEF should keep an eye out for applications, which will be posted to ethealth.org in the coming month.
GHEI - This winter and next spring, ETH’s Global Health Experiential Internship (GHEI) will be continuing for its second year. Designed for high school age students, the program gives fellows the opportunity to live in Mpunde and learn firsthand how to conduct public health research, community outreaches, and evidence-based interventions. Participants will also gain invaluable experience in cultural relativity and rural healthcare while working alongside Ugandan staff.
GHEI will take place in two sessions (January and May) and is open to high school students of all ages and experience levels. ETH is currently accepting applications for the internship, with soft deadlines of mid-November for the January session and mid-March for the May session. Please contact Roshan Sivakumar (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any inquiries regarding this year’s GHEI. More information can also be found at https://www.ethealth.org/ghei.
As we enter a new academic year, we look forward to continuing to work with passionate and motivated students involved in our undergraduate chapters. If you or someone you know is interested in joining or starting a chapter, please be sure to reach out to email@example.com!
Thank you to all those who continue to support our efforts at bringing modern healthcare to some of the world’s most vulnerable. Without you, none of this would be possible.
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