Jose Luis Garcia: Volunteering in Tchad

Jose Luis Garcia studied the Professional Diploma of Tropical Nursing (PDTN), graduating in 2018. After his time at LSHTM he embarked on a volunteering experience in Tchad (Republic of Chad) for the Iluminafrica Foundation. In this post he explains his life-changing experience and tells us about his time at LSHTM.

Why did you decide to study at LSHTM and how has this complemented your career?

My great interest in the protection of human rights was one of the main reasons why I decided to study nursing. It was in Watford, whilst I was working in the A&E Department, where I discovered the Diploma at LSHTM. I was interested in applying for the PDTN at one of the worldwide leading postgraduate Universities in public, international health and tropical medicine to contribute to its mission of improvement of health in the world. All this was in perfect harmony with my purpose of developing professionally in international cooperation as a nurse. I would like to deeply thank everyone who made my admission possible, a dream made true, and this wonderful course. To all thank you, thank you, thank you.

The incredible opportunity to study at LSHTM complemented my career in so many ways, providing me theoretical and practical knowledge with two hours of practice per week in the laboratory, in: public health, primary and community care, emergency and disaster care, medical anthropology, sanitation infrastructure technologies, mental health, obstetrics and gynaecology, nutrition, immunology, parasitology, conflicts and health blood group determination, blood cross-tests, haemoglobin estimation, non-communicable diseases along with a wide coverage of tropical diseases. As well as learn to diagnose Malaria, Leishmaniosis, Philariasis and other parasitic diseases. The course also helped me to perform an effective literature search and find items in databases, as we had to submit an essay based on previous research.”

Describe your volunteering experience.

“The week before leaving Madrid I read a phrase by Pablo Coelho that I think is necessary to introduce an experience like this: ‘There is a language in the world that everyone understands: it is the language of enthusiasm, of things done with LOVE and with will, in search of what is desired or believed. When you feel full and complete of love, about anything that makes you connect more with that and expand in your life.’

In April 2019 I found the Iluminafrica Foundation, whilst looking for a volunteer position as a nurse. Since childhood I have always had in mind that the sun does not shine the same for all. My experience at the hospital of Saint Joseph de Bebedjia, Tchad from July to October, 2019 shows this. In general, living and sanitation conditions are far from the minimum that has been established by the international organisations and the sustainable development goals set for 2030 by the United Nations Organisation (UN). It is a very big cultural shock and these conditions made me feel helpless, angry and sad, but never made me forget the reason for my volunteering. I have witnessed cases of patients with incurable terminal diseases without adequate means, orphaned new-born babies of a mother who died from perinatal haemorrhage at home, 125 paediatric patients in a 40-bed service, intractable hypoxemias when there is no O2 or electricity to correct it, deaths without justifiable cause as there are no adequate means of diagnosis, death of children with diseases: Malaria, Tuberculosis, HIV, Hepatitis …etc.

On a professional level, one of my actions has been to observe the deficiencies of all kinds that the hospital suffers at a technical level and training of professionals and from day one: search, study, and print solutions in French and with a close relationship with the Technical and Administrative Directorate of the hospital and via WhatsApp with Enganchados and Iluminafrica. The clinical improvement efforts have been heard but are still to be implemented in the different services. I can refer to a great success what has been achieved through this communication, the logistic support provided in both the optics and the hospital who have expressed the importance of improving its quality of care. I think it is a common vision of the volunteers who have gone through Bebedjia. This experience has meant an impressive two-way cultural exchange of learning.

I would really recommend for current students to volunteer in a low-resource setting. I think that this was the most rewarding experience of my life. A passion and a perspective of improving equality in terms of health and sustainable development worldwide have definitely been forged, being aware of the challenges and difficulties that I would face in the tropics and in developing countries. It has given me an overview of reality in a country with very limited human and economic resources and enriched to truly human level. Thanks Tchad for opening your doors, giving smiles and letting me understand you a little more since without your help it would have been even more unbeatable.”

6 – 12 December 2019

Heidi Larson speaks to Reuters, BBC News, the Guardian and The Times about the global surge in measles cases and deaths. Heidi said: “Measles, the most contagious of all vaccine-preventable diseases, is the tip of the iceberg of other vaccine-preventable disease threats and should be a wake-up call to strengthen protection against future outbreaks .”

Heidi also speaks to Aljazeera as Malaysia reports its first polio case in 27 years. Heidi said: “When we come across a case like the one in Malaysia, it exposes areas that don’t have enough vaccination to prevent the spread.”

The rVSV-ZEBOV Ebola Vaccine is named one of the top 20 scientific discoveries of the decade in National Geographic. LSHTM was involved in the design and analysis of this vaccine trial.

Beate Kampmann talks to BBC Radio Scotland (from 55:00) and LBC News about increasing vaccine confidence to stem a global surge in measles cases. Beate said: “Logistics, trust in healthcare systems and the way vaccines are delivered all play a role. We need to do a better job of explaining their safety.”

Pontiano Kaleebu and Segun Fatumo writes in The Conversation Africa about what they’ve learnt from building Africa’s biggest genome library. Pontiano and Segun said: “We now need larger and more diverse studies of genetic causes of disease across the region. These will foster the development of new treatments that will benefit people living in Africa as well as people of African descent around the world.”

Susannah Mayhew discusses how the world would change if women had total control over when and how they had children in BBC Future. Susannah said: “If you eliminated the one thing that probably more than anything currently holds many women back [from education, career or other pursuits] – constant child bearing – then the world would suddenly open to them in a way it never was before.”

Jon Cuccui speaks to BBC News about new vaccine technologies. Jon said: “We can go and target an organism and develop a prototype vaccine at a much faster rate than we could 10 to 20 years ago.”

Hannah Kuper talks to SciDev.net about the need to address disabilities in development research. Hannah said: “There has been little research to find out what works and doesn’t work when it comes to promoting inclusion for disabled people.”

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SUPPLEMENT LAUNCH: Access to Medicines through Health Systems in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

By Ebiowei S.F Orubu (Niger Delta University) & Sachiko Ozawa (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

What does access to medicines in health systems mean, and why is this of concern?

This special issue in the journal Health Policy and Planning entitled “Access to Medicines through Health Systems in Low- and Middle-Income Countries” attempts to provide answers to these questions. It contains original research articles encompassing: legislating for access to medicines as a human right; health inequalities arising from poor-quality medicines; the irrational use of medicines; access to cardiovascular medicines for children; and performance-based financing as a tool to improving access.

It is a curated list of articles from mainly authors from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) united in the unique focus on medicine access from the perspective of the goal to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Specifically, we examined access through availability, affordability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality – meaning how to make sure that people can use the right medicines of the right quality at the right price and at the right place. The list of articles was put together through a call for abstracts from the Medicines in Health Systems Thematic Working Group of Health Systems Global – an organization driven by a diverse, global membership of researchers, decision-makers, and implementers who are dedicated to promoting health systems research and knowledge translation. This diverse list of articles illustrate the complexity of access to medicines in LMICs, as well as propose some solutions. These solutions include:

  • a checklist and benchmarks for legislative reforms for access to medicines in UHC policies;
  • context-specific modeling providing evidence that improving the quality of antimalarials reduces the health burden of malaria especially among poor and rural populations;
  • a composite indicator for assessing the types of inappropriate uses of medicines to inform targeted interventions;
  • subsidies to make medicines compounded for children more accessible; and
  • an innovative financial approach to improving the perception of increased medicine availability.

Access to medicines is part of our right to health as noted by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, but nearly 2 billion people globally have no access to essential medicines. We do hope this issue helps to bring focus to these often neglected areas of access to medicines in health systems in LMICs. We also hope you enjoy reading and learning from them as we did!

Articles in the supplement

  • Editorial (Sachi Ozawa et al)
  • Original research article (Isidore Sieleunou et al). How does performance-based financing affect the availability of essential medicines in Cameroon? A qualitative study.
  • Original research article (Ebiowei Orubu et al). Access to essential cardiovascular medicines for children: a pilot study of availability, price and affordability in Nigeria.
  • Original research article (Vera Lucia Luiza et al). Inappropriate use of medicines and associated factors in Brazil: an approach from a national household survey.
  • Original research article (Daniel Evans et al.). Poor-quality anti-malarials further health inequalities in Uganda.
  • Original research article (Katarina Perhudoff et al). Legislating for universal access to medicines: a rights-based cross-national comparison of UHC laws in 16 countries.

Image credit: US Army Africa/Flickr, Creative Commons license 2.0

Trip report: LSHTM Participatory research workshop at Kyoto University

In our latest blog post, DEPTH researcher Dr Alicia Renedo gives us an overview of her experience delivering a short course on participatory research at Kyoto University School of Public Health.

Kyoto streetscape. Photo: Alicia Renedo

The short course consisted of two full day workshops (day 1 Professor Pranee Liamputtong and day 2 Dr Alicia Renedo), which included a combination of mini-lectures, reflective discussions and participatory group work by students from Kyoto University. Research degree students from LSHTM also attended the course at Kyoto and presented some of their own participatory research projects

Professor Liamputtong from Western Sydney University delivered an engaging session on the theory and methods of PAR (participatory action research). PAR emphasises involvement of participants in the research undertaken and encourages participants to shape the research undertaken. The day started with an inspiring introduction into the philosophy behind PAR, which drew upon the pioneering ideas of Brazilian educator Paulo Freire. Students learned about the importance that Freire’s work has had on the theory and practice of participation for social change and health improvement. In particular, Professor Liamputtong challenged students to think about how Freire’s concepts of ‘radical love’ and ‘conscientization’ can contribute to more equitable research. This is a type of research that challenges the status quo by engaging ignored and silenced voices and addresses the problems marginalised communities identify as central to their everyday life.

Professor Liamputtong contextualised PAR within the wider debate about decolonising research methodologies. She drew on Linda Tuhiwai Smiths’ work to make an excellent case for the need to stop conducting research that takes away the knowledge and livelihoods of communities and suppresses their identities.

This introduction to the theory and philosophy of PAR was followed up by an overview of different creative PAR methodologies, from body-mapping to photovoice. We also learned about the personal skills PAR researchers need to develop; reciprocity, self-reflexivity, respect, self-awareness, humility, and compassion amongst others.

On the second day, Dr Renedo encouraged students to think critically about participation in health. She gave on overview of the body of work she’s developed with Professor Cicely Marston focused on understanding how community participation and patient involvement in healthcare research works in practice: what works, why and how? She started the day with an introduction to work they have developed on theorising participation and using participatory approaches in health research. Their work has addressed important evidence gaps on participation in health by developing critical theory on undertheorized aspects, which are also neglected in practice. In this first session, students learned about the importance of space in making participation successful and inclusive, and about the role of temporal, social and material aspects of participatory space in influencing participants’ ability to negotiate their rights for quality health and to mobilise for better health.

In this session, students also learned about how social relationships and research practices at the core of participatory research shape the identities of participants, that is how participants see their role and capacity to influence. Dr Renedo closed this first session with a discussion about the social production of new forms of knowledge through participatory processes; what happens when the technical knowledge of researchers and healthcare providers interacts with the knowledge brought by communities?

In the second session, Dr Renedo stimulated group discussion around the guiding principles for participatory research. She introduced students to guiding principles for ensuring participatory research is ethical and inclusive to deliver bottom-up solutions for the communities we are working with. Students were tasked with planning a participatory research project with vulnerable communities. Before they started, Dr Renedo warned students about some of the potential risks of participatory research, for example, community disengagement, mistrust and reinforcement of pre-existing inequalities and power hierarchies.

Kyoto University campus lunch. Photo: Alicia Renedo

In the afternoon, Dr Renedo presented a case example of DEPTH participatory research project co-produced with sickle cell disease (SCD) patient advocates (patients with SCD and carers of patients with SCD). Her session was followed up by presentationson PAR conducted by LSHTM research degree students: Asmae Doukani, Stefanie Fringes and Chris Obermeyer.

Asmae Doukani gave a talk about her participatory research journey and reflected on her personal learnings about meaningful user involvement in the development and evaluation of digital mental health interventions. Chris Obermeyer gave an overview of his grassroots participatory research involving communities in improving PrEP promotion in Ukraine. Stefanie Fringes helped students think critically about how to do participation with young people as research partners in the context of HIV in adolescent health.

Alicia would like to give a special thanks to Ayako Kohno and Teranee Techasrivichien, from Kyoto University School of Public Health, for inviting us to participate in the workshop. She adds:

“I was truly inspired by all presentations and by Kyoto University students’ critical insights into participatory research. The workshop stimulated truly collective learning. I look forward to continue conversations and see how the students can draw on the learnings from the two-day workshop in their own research.”

A recording of the two-day workshop will be available via Kyoto University’s website. We will add a link to these resources when they are ready.

Kyoto streetscape. Photo: Alicia Renedo

Alumni Innovators: Susie Kitchens

As 2020 draws near, we’re continuing our year of celebrations for LSHTM’s 120th Anniversary with a series of blog posts about some of our alumni innovators.  Here’s the latest.

Susie Kitchens is the UK Government’s Deputy High Commissioner and Permanent Representative to UNEP and UN Habitat based at the British High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya. She gained an MSc Health Promotion Sciences from LSHTM in 1997 and has worked a Diplomat since 2002.

What does innovation mean to you?

To me, innovation means recognising that the important problems we need to solve go beyond the solutions we currently have available to us. Innovators are always looking out for how to pick up on what works and how to run further and faster with that, not getting stuck with what has always been done, or what we are used to. Thinking differently about problems and solutions; taking risks in trying something else; testing out new technologies, ideas, evidence and anaylsis. When we put resources, knowledge, political will and collaborations behind that mindset, we can innovate.

How can innovation solve challenges in global health?

While human biology might not change much, the social and physical conditions humans must thrive in are changing rapidly. Innovations in global health are helping us get better at identifying the causes of issues impacting global health – mental health, impacts of pollution, drug resistance etc –  and the most appropriate (sustainable, affordable, fewest side-effects) responses to those issues. Finding solutions that ‘cure’ health issues are vital and require the pointy-end of innovation in scientific research. But equally important, we need innovations in how to communicate, assess and share information, last-mile distribution, scale of solutions and affordability, behavioural insights to optimise uptake and joined-up solutions with non-health determinants of the environments we live in.

How do you use innovation at work?

My work gives me the chance to think about innovation at a big-scale national policy level, but also at institutional, project and individual levels. Finding new ways of bringing cross-disciplinary teams together in the office is an innovation: it’s not going to cure cancer, but it might spark an idea for a new collaboration that can unlock better ways of doing things. I think it is important to challenge how things are done regularly: not change for the sake of it – and certainly not to disregard experience and history – but because every time the ingredients change (people in the team, data sets, available tools) it’s possible that a new outcome can emerge.

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Does scaling up guarantee quality of care for HIV patients in northern Uganda?

By Joseph J. Valadez, Ulrike Seeberger (Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine)

HIV/AIDS is one of the first global epidemics that killed complete generations of young adults. Its transition towards a chronic condition is one of the great achievements of medicine, pharmacy and public health. However, as a chronic disease, it remains a huge challenge to the health sector in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC) as its requirements differ massively from the management of acute conditions. Instead of treating patients according to cardinal symptoms and stopping treatment after recovery, HIV requires permanent, lifelong treatment even though the patient may not experience any symptoms. Furthermore, the management depends upon regular clinical and immunological monitoring to rule out side effects of the medication and drug failure. All concerns have to be fulfilled on a long-term basis to ensure good patient outcomes with low morbidity and mortality. HIV/AIDS remains a major challenge for health sectors that are more used to treating acute conditions (for example, Malaria, Pneumonia, Diarrhoea). However, its management may become an example for an approach that could apply to other emerging chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure and chronic heart failure with similar requirements to the health sector.

Scale up of HIV/AIDS services in Uganda

Uganda, like many LMICs, has scaled up their services for people living with HIV/AIDS during the last two decades. In this context of rapid scaling up of services and changing requirements concerning management, quality of care has gained more and more attention as it is paramount for reducing morbidity and mortality of HIV/AIDS. However, most studies and surveillance systems are concentrating on the availability of a service rather than on its quality.

Our study published in Health Policy and Planning could be a starting point to close this information gap. We examined the on-site quality of care for patients on antiretroviral treatment in northern Uganda. The overall quality of care was low; standard first-line antiretrovirals were available and dispensed and patients stated they took them regularly. However, clinical and immunological monitoring for drug resistance, side effects or opportunistic infections did not take place. Neither did the adaptation of medication in case of treatment failure.

We used an approach and a method that could easily be replicated on a nationwide level or elsewhere. The lot quality assurance sampling technique measures coverage with health services in a geographical area, comparison of different areas, and an on-site examination of clinical care and support services in a facility. Consequently, it enables health system managers to identify areas (geographical and technical) that need attention and support, and policymakers to determine whether a chronic health system problem exists or whether a problem is health facility or health service specific.

Conclusion

Whether northern Uganda is an area that needs extra attention to improve care or whether this problem is a more widespread one, should be investigated. We hoped that we could find greater variation in the results and identify areas of care that need improvement and those that do not. However, nearly all areas failed. To find out about the consequences for the patients, requires further studies such as immunological monitoring.

We are aware, that the measurement highly depends on the indicators we choose and questions we ask. In our study, we used the national antiretroviral treatment guidelines as basis for the choice of indicators.

However, we are curious to discuss different experiences others have had when assessing the quality of care in LMICs and would like to see more patient outcome studies to verify or call into question our approach.


Image credit: Joseph J. Valadez

We need to pay more attention to the longer term implications of food banking

The UK news this week has been dominated by reports that there are now more foodbanks in the UK than there are branches of McDonald’s.

The issue of food poverty and the need for foodbanks remains a contentious political issue.  That aside, foodbanks have undeniably become an established feature of the welfare landscape and the food environment in the UK. If current trends continue then the diets of those on low-incomes may become characterised by the inclusion of significant amounts of donated and surplus food. These developments have yet to be integrated into models and concepts of the food environments – something which urgently needs addressing (see our paper on this).

The establishment and long term use of food banks also raises practical challenges for the sector itself.  Food banks were never intended as a long term solution to food poverty – and providing ‘emergency’ relief over extended periods causes ethical, nutritional and logistical problems for food bank organisers. As part of our London-based study on food poverty we interviewed food bank organisers, volunteers, and users about these issues. In preparation for our end-of-project seminar this month, we worked with Preston Street Films to make an infographic outlining these issues. Foodbanks do essential work and a more comprehensive understanding of the challenges they face is vital if UK society continues to rely on them as the frontline response to food poverty.

 

 

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Grace Hatton: Nominee for Tech Women 100

Grace HattonGrace Hatton studied for a Diploma in Tropical Medicine & Hygiene and now works as a Clinical Research Fellow and Clinical Entrepreneur at NHS England. She is the only MHS medical employee to be shortlisted for the incredible Tech Women 100 by JPMorgan Chase & Co. We asked her about her experiences at LSHTM and her achievements.

Why did you decide to study at LSHTM?

“It came recommended to me from several sources (journal articles, former students and clinicians I have worked with), and I was already aware of the international reputation of the DTM&H course before I had applied. I knew that I wanted to take time out of my training within the NHS, and thought it would be a perfectly-timed opportunity to return to studying.”

Were the relationships you formed at LSHTM useful – in what way?

Incredibly so, and arguably more useful than the course content – which is saying a lot, because the course has been beyond my expectations! Not only when you consider the breadth of information covered but the world-class speakers that my cohort heard from. I’ve since partnered with another student on my course to set up an NGO in India focusing on maternal healthcare and have of course made countless friends for life (helpful when travelling, as it means I’ve now got a couch to sleep on in almost every country!).

Tell us about your projects and why you were nominated for Tech Women 100?

“I belonged to a research group based in the pharmaceutics department at UCL which carries out work in the 3D printing of medicines. I published a great deal of work internationally relating to the work I did there, based around the printing and the personalisation of medicines. I also set up a company off the back of what I had learned with a PhD student. I have been very concerned about the gross amount of waste that goes on in healthcare environments and I also wanted to take advantage of the increasing shift towards sustainable industrial practices. So we are currently developing patents that utilise recycled plastic feedstock to generate healthcare devices (watch this space). It was off the back of this work and my work going forward (collaboration with the European Space Agency on the horizon in their use of 3DP for aerospace studies) that I was shortlisted for the award. My mum has printed the webpage off and framed it in the downstairs bathroom at home, apparently!”

What do you hope to achieve in the future?

“The diploma has complemented my career as I will be pursuing further work and research in infectious diseases in 2020 as part of an organisation based in Mali. The diploma has also allowed me to make numerous connections with staff, visitors and organisations affiliated with the School that complement my role and work as a Clinical Entrepreneur within the NHS. I hope to pursue work that doesn’t necessarily fit into any pre-defined niche, and a role that allows me to continue to combine both my passions for clinical practice and research would be ideal.”

Find out more about the awards and see Grace’s profile here.

Thank you to all our amazing fundraisers

Whether you have an interest in baking, running, sky diving, knitting, cutting your hair off or sitting in a bathtub of baked beans, there may be something you could do to help support LSHTM’s important work. 

Helping generate excitement around a challenge, or bringing people together for a cause you feel passionate about helps raise vital funds for LSHTM projects. 

In 2018, MSc Public Health alumnus Luis Guerra and Epidemiologist and LSHTM scientist Dr Paul Mee ran the London Marathon, raising £3,000 for scholarships and the Steve Lawn Memorial Fund. Meanwhile, the Electronic Health Records Group at LSHTM cycled from London to Paris, raising over £20,000 for the Adrian Root Memorial Prize supporting LSHTM MSc Epidemiology students each year.

This summer Jen, a friend of LSHTM, decided to run the marathon for her brother Dave, who has ME, because, for him, every day is like running a marathon. In honour of their childhood dream, Jen decided to make the most of the opportunity and raised £3,050 to support CureME, home of the UK’s first ME Biobank, leading ground-breaking research into ME/CFS, based at LSHTM. 

Whether you’d like to run the London (or any other) Marathon, freefall out of a plane, ride your bike, put on an event, or host a cake sale, we would love to hear from you. By supporting LSHTM, you can raise the profile of our world-changing institution and contribute toward our goal of global health equity. 

Please contact alumni@lshtm.ac.uk if you have an idea and would like to take on a challenge. 

The Intervention: Stories in Public Health podcast

The Intervention is a podcast, hosted by MSc Public Health student Mahan Sadjadi, that explores stories in health and healthcare around the world. Its central idea is to create a platform to tell personal stories, spark discussion and inspire creativity around issues in public health.

There will be different recurring series within the podcast. The format the podcast started with, “How I Got Here”, explores the stories of LSHTM students. Future episodes will also feature interviews with LSHTM faculty and researchers as well as external guests who discuss their own stories and issues they are passionate about.

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Episode 1

In this first episode of The Intervention, we explore the stories of Dr. Catalina Ocampo from Colombia and Dr. Jehangir Sheriff from Tanzania, who are both medical doctors and currently study the MSc Public Health at LSHTM.

We start with Catalina. She talks about growing up in difficult times, how her path was influenced by a social service year after medical school, and about how being confronted with issues around healthcare and patient autonomy expanded her interest beyond medicine and informed her choice of getting into public health. Jehangir, who is the second guest in this episode, talks about the role his father played in his life, how being confronted with differences in health equity informed his choices, and how frustrations and a feeling of helplessness almost drove him to quit medicine before a few key realizations led to a new perspective on health and his career.

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Episode 2

Doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals dedicate their careers to caring for the health of others – sometimes at the cost of their own health and wellbeing. In this episode of The Intervention, Dr. Talha Khalid from Pakistan tells the story of how his personal path and experiences led him to get into public health. Based on his story, we explore how mental health affects the lives and careers of healthcare professionals and discuss ways to promote progress in this important area.

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Episode 3

In this Episode of The Intervention, we speak with Eshitha Vaz about how her personal story led her to get into public health. A writer at heart, her decision was influenced by her passion for both, science and the humanities. On the basis of this, we speak more about how artistic approaches can complement science, and about the role they can play in public health.

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Episode 4

Mahan’s guest in this episode of the Intervention is Dr. Cavia Zagita Trufani who is a medical doctor from Indonesia. They speak about public health work she did while she was a medical student, the difficulties she faced in the various settings she worked in, and about how her experiences ultimately led her to pursue a degree in public health.

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Episode 5

“All universities around the world, they produce the smartest diagnosticians out there, but we need socially accountable doctors who are able to address their communities’ needs, who are able to address health as a human right.” (Dr. Batool Al-Wahdani)

In the last episode of the podcast, Dr. Cavia Zagita Trufani told the story of how working with the Indonesian Chapter of the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations, IFMSA, sparked her interest in public health. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Batool Al-Wahdani. a medical doctor from Jordan, who is the past president of IFMSA. She talks about how she got involved with the organization and about what IFMSA is and what it does. She describes concisely how working with IFMSA has influenced her life and career, and about why being involved matters, at every level.

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