The Latest News from VIGH

NIH Grant Bolsters Childhood Status Epilepticus and Epilepsy Research in Nigeria

The Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) has received a new research grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke and Fogarty International Center of the NIH to establish a large childhood status epilepticus (SE) cohort in northern Nigeria with key partners Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) and Bayero University, and with the Sydney Brenner Institute for Molecular Bioscience at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) in South Africa.

Preventing occupational exposure to bloodborne pathogens among rural South African traditional healers

Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) and collaborators at the MRC/Wits Rural Public Health and Health Transitions Research Unit (Agincourt) at the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa have received a new research development grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases to compare novel implementation strategies to reduce the risk of HIV acquisition among traditional healers in South Africa.

Marie Martin Elected to CUGH Education Committee

The Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Subcommittee on Masters and Undergraduate Degrees in Global Health (SMUDGH) has elected Marie Martin, Ph.D., M.Ed., assistant professor of Health Policy and associate director for Education and Training for VIGH to serve a 2-year term on the committee, which focuses on helping universities develop high-quality programs in global health for both undergraduate and graduate students.

Prevention of Stroke in Children with Sickle Cell Anemia in Nigeria: A task shifting community hospital approach

Stroke is a devastating complication of sickle cell anemia (SCA) occurring in approximately 11% of children affected with the disease in resource-limited countries, compared to 1% in high-income countries. Nigeria bears 50% of childhood SCA's global burden, and stroke is a frequent complication leading to increased death and disability.

Moderate fixed‐dose hydroxyurea for primary prevention of strokes in Nigerian children with sickle cell disease: Final results of the SPIN trial

Sickle cell disease (SCD), an inherited blood disorder, is prevalent throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 240,000 children are born with SCD each year across the continent of Africa, and up to 70% of those infants born with sickle cell disease die before the age of five. 

University students in Nigeria willing to self test for HIV, cross-sectional study

A recent study co-authored by Dr. Muktar Aliyu, M.D., MPH, DrPH, professor of Health Policy and Medicine and associate director for research for VIGH, assessed the willingness of students at Bayero University in Nigeria to self-test for HIV. The World Health Organization (WHO) encourages the use of HIV self-testing, especially in areas such as West and Central Africa where 64% of people living with HIV are unaware of their status.

Community-led health model improves maternal and child health outcomes in Kenya

In partnership with Lwala Community Alliance (Lwala), VIGH faculty member Troy Moon, M.D., MPH, provided mentorship to Vanderbilt medical student Sarah Heerboth to conduct a study assessing the level of knowledge of obstetric and neonatal danger signs among Community Health Workers (CHW) in rural western Kenya. Lwala centers on a community led health model, transforming traditional birth attendants into CHWs.

VIGH awarded $3 million for building research capacity in Nigeria and Mozambique

Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health (VIGH) has received a new research training grant and a renewal for an existing training program from the Fogarty International Center (FIC) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to build HIV-focused research capacity with key partners in Nigeria and Mozambique. One of the $1.5 million grants will establish The Vanderbilt-Nigeria Building Research Capacity in HIV/Non-communicable Diseases (V-BRCH) Program to build capacity of Nigerian investigators to successfully initiate and implement high-quality clinical trials in HIV-associated non-communicable diseases.

2020 Global Health Graduates

This year, 11 students graduated with a Master of Public Health (MPH) in Global Health, and seven received the Graduate Certificate in Global Health. Although official in-person Vanderbilt University graduations have been postponed to May 2021, the MPH Program held a virtual celebration for graduates and their families, friends, and mentors on May 8. The celebration included heartwarming presentations from students about their experiences in the Program and celebrated students who received awards. Congratulations, graduates!

Students Address Global Health Challenges in the 10th Annual Case Competition

This spring marked the 10th anniversary of the Global Health Case Competition at Vanderbilt, cementing the event as both campus tradition and evidence of a sustained commitment to collaborative problem-solving in global health at the university. Since 2011, over 1000 student participants and volunteers have participated in the competition, coordinated by Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s Student Advisory Council.

Vanderbilt Lab Donation Supports Medical Education in Liberia

At the end of March, the Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health received a long-awaited message from Liberia – the 40-foot shipping container of medical books and other laboratory equipment donated by the Vanderbilt School of Medicine had survived it’s journey across the ocean and arrived at its final destination, the University of Liberia. The letter signaled the end of a nearly year-long donation effort at Vanderbilt and the beginning of new opportunities for current and future medical students in Liberia.

Team to test app for improving HIV care for new mothers in South Africa

South Africa has more HIV/AIDS patients than any other country and is home to the world’s largest antiretroviral program. According to the World Bank, as of 2018 the prevalence of HIV among South Africans ages 15 to 49 was 20.4%. Nearly one in three pregnant women attending antenatal care in South Africa is living with HIV. As South Africans with HIV move around the country, there is a risk they will disengage from the health care system or otherwise become lost to follow-up care.

VUSM Graduate Receives 2020 Vermund Award for Excellence in Global Health

Didi Odinkemelu has a deep passion for health systems strengthening, capacity building, and clinical care in low-resourced settings. During her time at Vanderbilt, she has been involved many of Vanderbilt Institute for Global Health’s (VIGH) programs including a Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (VUSM) Research Immersion in Liberia, Integrated Science course in Nigeria and on the Navajo Reservation, VIGH Case Competition, and Global Health Symposium. Didi completed the requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Global Health, illustrating her commitment to gaining the knowledge, skills, and competencies to be effective in the field of global health. This interest also motivated her to serve as the Global Student Surgery Alliance’s International Experience Coordinator and influenced her choice of a global anesthesiology residency at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.

2020 Graduate Certificate Recipients Demonstrate Interdisciplinary Nature of Global Health

Each year, graduate students at Vanderbilt demonstrate that global health isn’t just the realm of doctors and nurses. The work of improving health access and outcomes at home and around the world takes passionate practitioners working together across fields. For this reason, Vanderbilt’s interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Global Health program attracts graduate students from across campus to engage in joint training and explore the ways in which their respective fields intersect with public health. This spring, seven graduating students will receive the Graduate Certificate, representing academic programs in international education, economic development, biomedical engineering, community research and action, and medicine. In addition to certifying coursework in Global Health, the Certificate demonstrates to peers, faculty, and future employers that students have a sustained commitment to solving community challenges with global relevance.