On June 29, third-year students Jonathan Nagel (above) and Ashley La Riccia, joined students from the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Social Work, and Nursing for a departure to Blantyre, Malawi. Their mission: to continue the University of Maryland’s Global Health Interdisciplinary Project and conduct a six-week study of maternal and child health services.
“It’s a great opportunity for all of us, regardless of what discipline you’re from, to apply the skills that we’re learning in the classroom in the real world,” said Nagel as he was leaving from BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport. “This is going to be a great practical experience.” The group of students will be closely supervised by faculty representatives from each school as well, including Professor of Law Peter Danchn and Law & Health Care Program Managing Director Virginia Rowthorn.
The Project developed out of discussions between School of Medicine representatives and local Malawi leaders, who noted that while groups conduct surveys and needs assessments in a single site where they plan to work, health officials do not have an opportunity to collect data in a standardized fashion across the whole district.
In addition to conducting fieldwork, the group hopes to schedule several workshops and meetings with stakeholders in the Malawi health care field and human rights communities to gather information about the country's health care system and human rights advocacy. The meetings will provide context for the survey findings and the fieldwork.
Watch videos of other student participants.
Follow the UM Malawi Project on Facebook.