Tuesday, April 28, 2009

[ISF] Nutrition Team - another update!

By Clare Barnett

The India School Fund (ISF) is a non-profit organization focused on the development of strong education programs for rural children in rural India.  In 2005 it opened the doors of its first school in Rujugella, a small village close to Mathra in Uttar Pradesh.  This year ISF was awarded $3000 to implement a nutritious school lunch program in to the school with the hope of improving the schoolchildren’s overall nutrition and cognitive development.

Team: Clare Barnett
  Kirti Ghei
Katharine Burmaster
Adenike Akinfenwa
Tejaswini Kulkarni
Vandita Tewari
Bolanle Buloye

1. Develop an understanding of current local dietary intake
2. Evaluate baseline data on the nutritional status of Rujugella schoolchildren
3. Literature review on common nutrient deficiencies in Northern India
4. Develop an understanding of current midday meal programs in Indian government schools
5. Develop adjuvant nutrition education programs that can be implemented into the schools

Progress: Progress has been slow due to difficulty accessing information from the ground staff in India, although steps have been made in development.  The baseline nutritional status of the Rujugella school children has been completed and happily the Rujugella schoolchildren are well above the National average for height and weight!  The next steps are to develop a meal program that meets the Indian governments recommendations for midday meals – all at under 3 rupees/meal.  A big tasks!


[ISF] Clinic Team -- update!

By Adrianne Lesser

The ISF-Clinic team is composed of Matthias Nachtnebel, Sima Shah, and Adriane Lesser. Matthias and Sima are MPH students, while Adriane is a MS student in her first year. The team is working to develop a set of implementable recommendations and program activities targeting the issue of access to preventive and basic primary care services in Rajugela. While the team is designing community-level recommendations, the emphasis is on schoolchildren, in keeping with ISF’s goal of having healthy students in its classrooms. Contacts and mentors for the group to-date have been or will be Rahul, Ajay at the Acumen Fund, Asad and Manu especially for assistance with Hindi-based conference calls, Elizabeth and Esmeralda, and Annie. 

Planned deliverables at this point include recommendations on feasibility of ISF’s initial ideas regarding preventive and clinic care; an evaluation of the estimated burden of different diseases and illness in Rajugela (especially among children); an essential drug list tailored to the estimated burden that projects feasibility, contents, and cost of stocking a small drug dispensary; and recommendations and possibly educational materials regarding how ISF can best reach and build knowledge in the community on basic preventive and primary care information and practices. 

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

[SHE] Team Updates!!

By Joya Banerjee

Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE Innovates)

Description: Sustainable Health Enterprises (SHE) uses market-based approaches to jump start businesses that yield a social and financial return on investment in developing countries, especially in the health sector. Its first spin-out business is sanitary pad franchising to stem the significant costs of girls and women not having access to affordable, eco-friendly sanitary pads when they menstruate.

Team Members:
Christina Lagos (GHP)
Joya Banerjee (GHP)
Jamie Zweibel (SHDH)
Melody Eckardt (GHP)

Organization Leader: Elizabeth Scharpf

Project Scope: The HSPH team is working on the launch phase of the first venture, sanitary napkins in Rwanda. We hope to propose a method of introducing the product and a distribution model that will be effective in rural and urban areas.


  • Determine what type of education and/or curriculum should accompany the distribution of sanitary pads
  • Research existing educational methods for hygiene practices and organizations that are running these kinds of programs.
  • Research potential barriers to purchase and use of sanitary pads apart from financial constraints.
  • Identify ways to address these in a culturally appropriate manner
    Research and propose successful approaches to talking about taboo issues
  • Propose a advocacy & fundraising campaign for the United States focused on the problem (missing school/ work due to lack of access to sanitary supplies and the unsustainability of donation-based approaches)
  • Create media coverage of the venture in MA and at Harvard
  • Propose an advocacy campaign for Rwanda to create a demand market
  • Analyze data from Rwanda Survey and explore possibilities for publishing
  • Determine whether or not outside organizations such as PSI be involved
  • Research negative health outcomes from use of raw materials as sanitary products

[WiRED-ITN] Team Updates!

WiRED International Telemedicine Network (ITN)

Objective: To provide online Continuous Medical Education to Doctors in developing countries (Kenya and Uganda to be studied in this project)

Updates: ITN team seeks to provide CME to doctors in developing countries. They have past experiences doing so in Iraq and are studying how to provide related services in Africa. The scope of the project involves understanding models of online CME that exist already as well as understanding the target consumers better.

Expected Deliverables:

· Report on current trends in CME utilization in Kenya
· Sample CME module

Team Members: Veronica Ades, Francis Kiweewa, Beatrice Kariuki (Team Leader), Neel Butala (FAS), Adriana Benedict (FAS)
Mentors: Gary Selnow (WiRED), Chris Spirito (Mitre), Chris Dippel (HST939), Paul Heinzelmann (Center for Connected Health), Heather Bellow (Center for Connected Health)

[Nicaragua] Updates!

Nicaragua Centro Promocional Cristiano

Objectives: To develop sustainable long-term financial plans and microfinance models to support a medical clinic in Nicaragua

Updates!! Since our group first met in February, we have been communicating with the clinic in Nicaragua and formulating our deliverables. After a preliminary investigation into the clinic's financial and operational functions, our group identified two main objectives. First, to help find sources of grants or loans to help the clinic survive financially. Second, to research and analyze succesful clinics (best practices) that are sustainable and employ the social model of medicine in order to serve as guidance for the CPC clinic. With the presentation of these two deliverables, we hope that the CPC clinic will be able to make sound decisions with the goal of becoming a sustainable clinic that serves the under-privileged.

Organization Leader: Jamie Zwiebel
Team Members: Olulade Ayodele, Allison Ettenger, Tobi Ogbechi, Keren Shani (Team Leader)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Blueprint for Health 2008-09

Welcome and Recap:

Over 10 organizations offering 15+ projects joined us at the kick-off/info session in December. Nearly 80 students participated.

Applications were due before winter break and selection results were announced in January 2009.

A welcome/introductory mixer was held on Feb 10th, 2009.

Individual team meetings with organization reps were completed between Feb 2nd and 16th. Timeline/deliverables were drafted.

Here on teams will update their deliverables online on a regular basis, with the anticipated end date in mid-May. Check back for team postings!