UNC team takes first prize at global health case competition
|April 19, 2013|
An interdisciplinary team of graduate students, some of whom attend Gillings School of Global Public Health, won first prize at the Triangle Global Health Case Competition, held April 13.
Gillings students PhuongGiang Nguyen (health policy and management) and Mariamu Mases-Amadi and Lakshmi Gopalakrishnan (maternal and child health) were members of the winning team, along with Peter Hur (pharmacy/business) and Aniket Bera (computer science).
The competition, hosted by UNC-Chapel Hill, N.C. State University and Duke University, invites teams of four to six students to develop concise, strategic recommendations for addressing a real-life global health challenge. Team members have about four days to work on their case study and prepare to compete with other teams before a panel of distinguished judges.
This year’s case involved a plan to strengthen local health systems in Pakistan.
When Pakistan’s Ministry of Health was abolished in June 2011, health care access in the country went from bad to worse. Administrative planning and budgeting were turned over to provincial health departments, which previously had been able to focus only upon the implementation of health programs.Now, 30 percent of children under age five are malnourished in the country, and nearly nine percent of them die in their first five years. Sanitation infrastructure in rural areas is poor. Infectious diseases including acute respiratory infections, malaria, diarrhea and dystentery, tuberculosis, cholera, HIV/AIDS and polio claim many lives.
Proposals are judged on creativity and innovation, rationale and feasibility, delivery of the solution, and clarity and organization.The UNC team’s recommendations included the use of mobile phone applications to enhance the work of a network of lay health workers.
The competition is sponsored each year by the Triangle Global Health Consortium, an organization aimed at establishing North Carolina as an international center for research, training, education, advocacy and business dedicated to improving the health of the world’s communities.