Category Archives: END7

Introducing Lauren Crossman, March’s END7 Student of the Month

 

LaurenEND7Each month, END7 honors one student who has made a significant contribution to our growing movement of student advocates dedicated to seeing the end of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We are very proud to introduce our March 2015 Student of the Month, Lauren Crossman, the END7 Student Advisory Board representative for the University of Cincinnati. Lauren, a third year pre-med student studying Biology at UC, shares:

“A month prior to learning about the END7 campaign last summer, I was on a study abroad trip in Accra, Ghana learning about the prevalence of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as the nation’s public health policies and infrastructures. Upon returning from Ghana, a few classmates from the trip and I decided to attend the 5th Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health conference in Washington, D.C. There, we met Emily Conron, END7’s Student Outreach Coordinator, and we were highly impressed by the campaign’s advocacy efforts and network of passionate students. As a student with a desire to become more involved in global health in a sustainable way, I was more than excited to become a part of the END7 campaign. UC students Malini Ramudit, Paige Craig, Madeline Kincaid, Angelica Hardee and I are thrilled to have started END7 as an official student organization at the University of Cincinnati with the goal of educating the UC community about NTDs through the promotion of advocacy actions to ensure that NTDs remain a political priority, and fundraising to finance the mass distribution of drugs to treat and prevent NTDs.

“This semester, we have given presentations on NTDs and the END7 campaign to several classes and have collected more than one hundred signatures on END7’s petition to protect funding for the USAID NTD Program in the 2016 federal budget. At our meeting this week, we are excited to have a scientist from the Environmental Protection agency (EPA) come in to discuss his experience with water infrastructure in the Caribbean and his current research at the EPA. On World Health Day, we will be co-hosting a global health panel with other student organizations to discuss health inequity and student involvement in global health. I am enthusiastic to continue working with my peers to secure an increase in federal NTD funding and a decrease in NTD prevalence worldwide!”

We are so grateful for Lauren’s continued commitment to END7 and are excited to see our community of student supporters like her grow. If you are ready to get your school involved in END7’s work, contact the END7’s student outreach coordinator at Emily.Conron@sabin.org to learn how you can get started!

Introducing Tahseen Karim, February’s END7 Student of the Month

 

Tahseen at galaEach month, END7 honors one student who has made a significant contribution to our growing movement of student advocates dedicated to seeing the end of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). We are very proud to introduce our February Student of the Month, Tahseen Karim, who joined the END7 Student Advisory Board just last month. Tahseen, a first-year medical student at UT Houston, shares:

“I have always truly enjoyed volunteering and philanthropy. However, coming in to medical school, I was under the impression that there would not be any time for service. I imagined my schedule filled with endless lectures, mandatory meetings and power naps. After a few weeks in, these expectations became realities. But rather than break me down, I found that my new stressful lifestyle actually empowered me. As a pre-professional at one of the state’s best medical schools located in the world’s largest medical center, I felt that I was in a position to do great things. With newfound ambition, I ran for student government, and became the Service Senator of the UT Houston Class of 2018. I made it my priority to utilize my influence in the community as a medical student to make a difference in the world.

Seeking out a potential class charity to support for the year, I soon learned about END7 from other medical students who knew Emily Conron, the campaign’s Student Outreach Coordinator. My classmates did not hesitate to choose END7 as our class charity, and we quickly began to work toward our goal of raising $25,000. A semi-formal banquet held in February was our very first fundraising event of the year. I was very proud of everyone who worked so hard while handling a full course load to help make this event successful. It was truly inspiring to see so many of my classmates believe in a good cause enough to sacrifice time and effort for it. We raised over $5,000 in one night and hope to continue achieving positive outcomes in the future. I can tell our futures as physicians as well as humanitarians look promising.”

We are so grateful for Tahseen’s continued commitment to END7 and are excited to see our community of student supporters like him grow. If you are ready to get your school involved in END7’s work, contact the END7’s student outreach coordinator at Emily.Conron@sabin.org to learn how you can get started!

Success in Vietnam: More than 700,000 School Children Treated!

 

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Over the span of two months, Vietnam’s Ministry of Health, together with World Vision Australia, treated more than 700,000 school children for intestinal worms. Generous donations from END7 supporters helped support this massive effort to reach every primary school in the nine target provinces across the country.

Vietnam’s mass drug administration (MDA) was critical to improving the country’s health. Intestinal worms pose a significant threat to children in Vietnam; more than 8 million children are at risk. If infected, these children are more likely to suffer from malnutrition and anemia. Intestinal worm infections also lead to school absenteeism and decreased cognitive function. In order to reach their full potential, all at-risk children must be treated regularly.

To help address Vietnam’s burden of intestinal worms, END7 donations supported the delivery of abendazole tablets, and the training of teachers and healthcare workers. Now, END7 funds will be supporting the country’s efforts to monitor and evaluate the success of the MDA campaign.

Thanks to our END7 supporters for playing a meaningful role in the fight against neglected tropical diseases!

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Every Sample is Someone’s Life: My Experience with NTD Field Research

 

By David Obadina

Northeastern University, where I am a junior majoring in International Affairs with a minor in global health, has an amazing co-op program through which students can go on six month internships anywhere in the world and work in an area of their interest. Having learned so much about neglected tropical diseases from classes and from serving on the END7 Student Advisory Board last spring, I was excited to be able to apply what I have learned and make a difference in this field during my co-op in the summer and fall of 2014 in Kumasi, Ghana.

For my co-op, I worked at the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine (KCCR) in their parasitology section. I had the opportunity to work in the lab and in the field to see and experience firsthand how NTDs like lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, hookworm and roundworm are treated.

The field experience was one of a kind. The staff here at KCCR were all very friendly and dedicated to their jobs. When we would go out into the field, we would travel a few hours to remote villages where people do not have easy access to healthcare and set up our equipment in a nearby school. Then, the project leader would speak to the people in charge of the village and would explain everything they intended to do. People were eager to be tested and receive treatment for NTDs.

I worked on the field microscope that was testing people on site. Probably the most interesting and meaningful experience of the field work was when I would diagnose on site looking at blood under the microscope. When I found a worm in someone’s blood I would alert them and show them the worm under the microscope to explain to them the nature of the disease afflicting them. This fieldwork raised awareness of filarial disease among these communities and actively sought to educate the community members. I was honored to be a part of this work and have gained a whole new real world perspective when it comes to the reality of NTDs and those affected by them.

Working in the laboratory, while it may not sound as exciting as the field, has been just as intriguing and is extremely essential to understanding these diseases. Something that was stressed every day in the lab is that every sample is someone’s life. Every single sample of blood that we diagnose and analyze holds meaning and is of high importance. Every diagnosis we make, whether negative or positive, has an immense effect on the lives of everyone involved, and that cannot be taken lightly.

I first became involved in the END7 campaign after being introduced to it by my epidemiology professor, Dr. Richard Wamai, in the fall of 2013, and joined the team that formed the END7 club at Northeastern. We planned many educational events and raised funds for END7, but last semester, I had the eye-opening opportunity to be on the other side of the fight against NTDs during my co-op. Now, I believe I’m better prepared to advocate for global equality and the rapid treatment of neglected diseases. At END7 events hosted at Northeastern, people would sometimes ask what it’s like for people with these diseases or how someone with an NTD looks. I could give an educated answer from what I had studied about the disease or things I had heard at global health conferences, but I couldn’t really give an accurate first hand account. After my co-op experience, I know I’ll be much more confident in giving an accurate depiction of the wide-ranging effects of NTDs on human life.

My co-op experience helped me grow in many ways. I learned a great deal about parasitology, global health networks, and what it really means to work in this field and make a difference in the lives of others. Now that I’m back in Boston, I am excited to begin another semester of education, advocacy, and fundraising with END7 at Northeastern this spring.