Monday, 6 November 2017

Global Health Emphasis-- Diverse Opportunities to Learn and Grow

USP's Global Health Emphasis (GHE) provides students the experiential and interdisciplinary opportunity to learn about health in the Ugandan context. The GHE curriculum is designed to meet the requirements of undergraduate health science majors while studying abraod in Uganda for a semester. Global Health internships combined with course offerings of Nutrition, Cross Cultural Practicum in Global Health, Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology, and Microbiology, allow health science students to gain insights into their personal, ministry, and vocational goals. GHE internships require a minimum of 150 practicum hours allowing students to learn from nurses, doctors, midwives, physical therapists and public health educators

Having now passed the halfway point this semester, the GHE students have completed the August module during which they took Human Nutrition in Global Health, they participated in a study trip to Rwanda at the end of August and experienced a week in a rural context on Rural Homestays. Students continue to press into their living contexts with either Ugandan host families or UCU roommates, and of course and are feeling much more comfortable in their classes and at their practicums.  

This semester’s ten Global Health students are from Westmont College in California, Gordon College in Massachusetts, and Southern Wesleyan University in South Carolina. Through our partnership with Westmont, Dr. Ogechi Nwaokelemeh, Assistant Professor of Kinesiology at Westmont, taught the August module course. She challenged our students academically and encouraged them to integrate their new knowledge of nutrition into the healthcare preventions and interventions in Uganda. Our students, faculty and staff enjoyed working and learning from Dr. Nwaokelemeh!

Visiting Westmont faculty Dr. Ogechi Nwaokelemeh with Micah Hughes, GHE Coordinator and Avrey Hughes, RN.

“The partnership between Westmont College and the Ugandan Studies Program has been exceptionally enriching! Students from Westmont joined students from other US academic institutions to participate in the August Modular Nutrition course here at Uganda Christian University. Topics ranging from the intricacies of the digestive system to the impact of malnutrition on public health were explored throughout the module. It was a great start to what will be a tremendous time of growth, maturation and discovery for the students in Uganda.”~  Dr. Ogechi Nwaokelemeh 

Global health internships are often the most challenging and rewarding aspect of GHE experience. Students have the opportunity to learn from Ugandan professionals at hospitals, clinics and research centers.

Rachael Phillips (Westmont College), is completing her practicum at ACHERU, a local pediatric occupational therapy center. “At ACHERU, I have the opportunity to learn from the physiotherapists, the nurses, the orthopedics officer, the classroom teacher, the receptionist, and I get to go out with my supervisor into the community to do home visits. I am learning about so many different aspects of the healthcare field, and I am loving every minute of it!” ~Rachel Phillips 

Rachel meeting her host mom on rural homestays.

Madison Cherry (Westmont College), is completing her practicum at ROTOM (Reach One Touch One Ministries). "ROTOM's vision is to see older persons living dignified and fulfilled lives! It is inspiring to see the staff truly care about every Jjajja (grandmother) they work with. I have been to many home visits where the doctor first made the jjajja's bed or tidied up the room. They do not only care about treating physical sickness, but they aspire to improve their quality of life. They put on fellowships for the jjajjas where they gether in community, learn about nutrition, and of course there is always dancing and food involved. I am constantly humbled by the staff's passion and the jjajjas' joy. I have so much to learn from ROTOM!" ~Madison Cherry 

Madison  encouraging an elderly client at ROTOM (Reach One Touch One Ministries) clinic.

USP has built relationships and a developed a framework of engagement over its fourteen years of partnership with Uganda Christian University in Mukono. The Global Health Emphasis, now in its third semester, has been a natural addition to the program, giving students the opportunity to engage practicum supervisors, host families, roommates, and professors, and learn through the lenses of health. 

We are also excited about our upcoming semester and the opportunity to offer our inaugural May Module in May 2018, through which spring GHE students will have the opportunity to travel to northern Uganda for two weeks to learn first-hand about the global health challenges of refugee healthcare and pediatric malnutrition from Ugandan doctors, nurses, and community educators at the therapeutic feeding center of the Ugandan Ministry of Health District Hospital. Through this experience, students will gain deeper understanding of the links and complications between nutrition, poverty, and public health.

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