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Rutgers Centers for Global Advancement and International Affairs


2017 Global Health Seed Grant Recipients

In February 2017, the Rutgers Global Health Institute, with help from the GAIA Centers, invited faculty to submit proposals for the inaugural Global Health Seed Grants. The response was terrific, with 26 diverse proposals submitted by faculty across the university. Five proposals in the categories of either 1) education, training, and capacity building or 2) research were each awarded $10,000. The Rutgers Global Health Institute is pleased to announce the awardees and their projects below.


Education, Training, and Capacity Building Grants

Health Passport to Healthy Living

Karen WeiRu Lin, MD, MS, FAAFP, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Peter Guarnaccia, PhD, Department of Human Ecology, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Collaborative Partners: Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Rutgers HIPHOP-Promise Clinic, Elijah’s Promise

The Health Passport to Healthy Living (HPHL) project is to create a “Health Passport” booklet that will provide health information and education to the diabetic and hypertensive patients at the HIPHOP-Promise Clinic – a student-run free clinic sponsored by Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School – and the clients at Elijah’s Promise in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The Health Passport is a tool to empower people in the ownership of their medical data. Participants’ health outcomes, satisfaction, appointment and medication compliance, and utilization of preventative health services will be assessed before and after the introduction of the HPHL program. Health Passports are anticipated to promote healthy living and a greater sense of ownership over one’s health.


Enhanced Capacity Building in Emergency and Surgical Care in Rural Ghana via eHealth Technology
Ziad Sifri, MD, Department of Surgery, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Harsh Sule, MD, Department of Emergency Medicine, Rutgers New Jersey Medical School
Collaborative Partners: Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital

Tetteh Quarshie Memorial Hospital (TQMH) is a 100-bed district hospital in Mampong, Ghana that acts as a training center for family medicine residents, and where surgical cases are performed by just one surgeon. This project is a collaboration between TQMH, the Rutgers NJMS Department of Emergency Medicine, and the Rutgers NJMS Department of Surgery. The eHealth approach utilizing technology to expand capacity in rural Ghana recognizes the challenges inherent to global health development, such as limited time and funding for on-the-ground engagement. This model will be operationalized via semi-annual site visits to conduct/update needs assessments, and via on-site skills training coupled with online collaboration and training. The eHealth efforts will focus on building an eLibrary for local use, live-streaming of routine didactic/educational sessions conducted at Rutgers NJMS, case-based teaching through online sessions, and other academic collaboration.

Research Grants

Health System Inequalities: An Empirical Assessment of São Paulo, Brazil
Michael Gusmano, PhD, Department of Health Systems and Policy, Rutgers School of Public Health
Collaborative Partners: Rutgers School of Public Health, New York University, Columbia University, Centro de Criogenia

In 1988, the Constitution of Brazil established a right to health care, and the country adopted the Unified Health System, also known as SUS, which is funded by taxes and social contributions. The program expanded, and by 1999, 82% of the country was covered by health insurance. SUS provides free health care at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels through a national health system. The project will investigate the degree to which Brazil’s commitment to universal access to health care, regardless of ability to pay, is reflected in access to public health and health care services within São Paulo, Brazil. This project will provide an analysis of health system inequalities within São Paulo by examining four indicators of health system performance: infant mortality, amenable mortality, avoidable hospitalizations for ambulatory care sensitive conditions, and rates of revascularization adjusted for morbidity.

Poor Growth, Vitamin A Deficiency and Microbiome in Children
Loredana Quadro, PhD, Department of Food Science, Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences
Collaborative Partners: Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences, University of São Paulo, Federal University of Alagoas

More than 150 million children worldwide are undernourished and experience permanently stunted growth. Undernourished children have impaired microbiome development that may limit nutrient absorption, promote inflammatory responses, and hinder healthy growth. Vitamin A-deficiency (VAD) affects hundreds of millions of children in developing countries, where VAD and general malnutrition are often linked. Vitamin A is an essential nutrient that modulates intestinal inflammation, immunity, and cell proliferation. Given that a healthy gut is the pre-requisite for proper microbiome development during childhood, it is hypothesized that children consuming a diet poor in energy and micronutrients such as vitamin A will have impaired intestinal functions that ultimately affect microbiome development, hindering normal growth. The project will determine the relationship between vitamin A status, microbiome, and growth by studying the microbiome of vitamin A sufficient and deficient children admitted for undernutrition at the Center for Nutrition Recovery and Education in Maceio, Brazil.

Impacts of Air Pollution Exposure on M.tb Transmission in an Urban Slum Community in Kampala, Uganda - A Pilot Study
Stephan Schwander, MD, PhD, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rutgers School of Public Health
Qingyu Meng, PhD, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, Rutgers School of Public Health
Collaborative Partners: Makarere University, EASEUganda

According to the United Nations Human Settlements Programme, more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, with approximately a quarter of the world’s urban population living in slums. In Africa, over half of the urban population lives in slums. People living in slum areas face multiple environmental and health challenges, including air pollution and infectious diseases. Namuwongo is the largest urban slum area in Kampala, the capital city of Uganda, and has a high incidence of TB. This slum can be seen as a model study site of major global environmental and public health significance as slum populations are expected to increase worldwide in the coming decades. In this pilot study, we will collect critical pilot data to assess personal air pollution exposures in the slum area in both TB households and healthy households, and test cough aerosol sampling systems in the slum area. The long-term goal of the study is to use multidisciplinary, community-based participatory research (CBPR) methods to study air pollution exposure and its impact on the infectiousness of persons with TB, as well as transmission of M.tb in community settings in Namuwongo.








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Global Pavilion at Rutgers Day 2017

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Saturday, April 29, 2017 | 10–4 p.m.
Visit our interactive Global Pavilion at Rutgers Day 2017, test your world knowledge, and win some prizes!

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WATCH ONLINE NOW Rutgers Around the World
The GAIA Centers produced a six-episode television show celebrating Rutgers international history over the past 250 years, Rutgers Around the World. The show explores Rutgers' global footprint through in-depth discussions and profiles of Rutgers' change-makers and international opportunities on all seven continents.

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