AAFP Global Health Workshop 2012

On September 6-8, the AAFP hosted its annual Global Health Workshop in Minneapolis, MN. Margaret Kuder, Shannon Emerick, Andrew Johnson, Andrew Martin, and Bradley McIntyre represented PODEMOS and Ohio State presenting the research they conducted last summer in the communities PODEMOS serves. In summer of 2011, the group spent two months in the communities interviewing women about their knowledge and attitudes surrounding cervical cancer and HPV and their current screening practices. Continue reading

AAFP Global Health Workshop 2011

Melanie Kennedy, Anne Siegel, and Nathan Holman recently represented PODEMOS at the AAFP Global Health Workshop in 2011 with poster presentations. The conference was an excellent opportunity for these three third year medical students to showcase the work and research that PODEMOS conducts in our communities. The group presented on breastfeeding practices, physical indicators of malnutrition, and social factors that lead to poor pediatric health outcomes. Continue reading

Education and Health

Appropriately assessing the health status of a community before beginning a medical or public health intervention is essential to ensure the equitable distribution of finite resources. Identification of demographic indicators that predict health could provide tools to broadly assess needs within a target community and allocate programs accordingly. Medical students at The Ohio State University conducted comprehensive health needs assessments of several marginalized communities in Honduras. Using self-reported epidemiology and demographic information, a Health Scale was constructed and scored for each respondent. Mean scale scores, when compared with demographic information, demonstrated that attainment of at least a fifth grade education correlated with better family health and better community health. Likewise, parental reporting of children having received health education in school was correlated with lower incidence of pediatric diarrhea. Mothers who reported their children did not suffer from diarrhea in the last year also had significantly more education than their peers. Additionally, data trends suggest that not having progressed beyond the fourth grade may be correlated with lower age at first pregnancy and increased parity for women. In comparing demographically similar populations in Honduras, findings suggest that education is predictive of certain health indicators and provides valuable information for targeting programs aimed at improving health. Likewise, designating resources for reducing disparities in education may be a successful means of reducing health inequality in Honduras. Care should be taken with the implementation of outreach efforts to account for low literacy and formal education within communities at highest risk for health inequality. Continue reading

Women’s Health

Girls playing soccer.

Assessing the healthcare needs of women within a target community serves the dual purpose of revealing the unique and often neglected needs of the female population, while simultaneously providing insight into the role of women as important determining agents of the health of the community at large. OSU Professional students worked to develop this influential role in a Honduran village using surveys designed to explore both health issues unique to women, and the relative contribution of women to community health. Continue reading

Nutrition

Pediatric malnutrition disparities in two demographically similar Honduran communities.

Mother and Son

Pediatric malnutrition is a health crisis that is inextricably tied to the global struggle for social and economic justice. In Honduras the DHS indicates that chronic malnutrition may reach up to 43% among children in the lowest quintile of income and 47% among children of mothers with no education. In preparation for a global health initiative, medical students at The Ohio State University College of Medicine conducted nutrition screenings of children in two highly marginalized populations (M and S) in the vicinity of El Progreso in the Honduran state of Yoro. Continue reading