Emory Global Health Connections, January – April 2023

Emory Global Health Connections


  • Student Teams Pitch Innovative Solutions to Global Health Challenges
  • Emory Faculty Researchers Focus on Closing Critical Knowledge Gaps
  • EGHI Presents Key Considerations for Equitable Partnerships in Global Health
  • EGHI International Programs Positioned to Deliver Global Health Impact
  • Don’t Miss News and Views from EGHI and Our Global Partners
Students Flourishing

Student Teams Pitch Innovative Solutions to Global Health Challenges

Emory Morningside Global Health Case Competition, March 11 – 18, 2023

Emory Global Health Institute (EGHI) hosted nearly 150 students from universities around the world to collaborate across teams and find and present solutions for how to prevent maternal deaths in Haiti. Almost 95% of all maternal deaths in 2020 occurred in low and lower middle-income countries, and most could have been prevented. The competition is an opportunity for students interested in global health and from different disciplines to combine their knowledge, research, and entrepreneurial skills to solve complex challenges. Congratulations to our top 5 out of 29 teams and all participants who demonstrated their leadership to address barriers and improve global health equity.

Watch highlights from the competition and hear from Uniformed Services University who took home the top prize for “Matwons bay Manmans – Preventing Maternal Death in Haiti’s Central Plateau.” 

EGHI/GT Hackathon on Mental Health Technologies, April 1, 2023

EGHI and Georgia Tech’s Create-X challenged teams of students from both universities to develop technology-based interventions to support mental health. SensAI—an AI-based, socially interactable application that gamifies cognitive therapy for children with neuromotor disabilities—was chosen as the winner against 14 other strong competitors. The team of freshmen behind SensAI will participate in Georgia Tech’s CREATE-X Startup Launch and have the opportunity to scale-up their product.  

Emory College of Arts and Sciences Psychology and Human Health Major and Team SensAI member Rachel Logue explains why this was a passion for their team, “We were able to draw from personal experiences of teammates and close friends to understand the challenges faced by millions of children with neuromotor disabilities and their families.”  Through personal connection, “that is where the magic happens, where the passion and real feeling of wanting to make change happens.”

Watch highlights from the final round of competitionheld on April 1 and see the top three teams take the stage to accept awards for their innovative solutions.

EGHI Student Spotlight: Ketki Vinayak Joshi, Rollins School of Public Health ‘24

Ketki Vinayak Joshi's images "The Living Hell" and “The Broken Bridge” taken in India have been on display at Emory’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts since February along with other winning photos from EGHI’s 2022 Global Health Photography Contest.  In addition to Ketki’s compelling captures, she participated in many EGHI student activities in 2022 bringing her passion, knowledge, and leadership to these events, including case writing for the Emory Intramural Global Health Case Competition and EGHI/GT Mental Health Technologies Hackathon. Congratulations to Ketki and other Emory students who explored their interest in global health by participating in EGHI’s experiential learning programs and competitions, and for providing leadership on our EGHI Student Advisory Council. These are the next generation of global health leaders!

Faculty Eminence and Research Excellence in Global Health

Emory Faculty Researchers Focus on Closing Critical Knowledge Gaps

In March, Emory’s Professor Gonzalo Vazquez-Prokopec visited Ethiopia to investigate the emergence of an invasive mosquito species - Anopheles stephensi – known to thrive in urban settings and spread malaria. Originally native to South Asia, this species has made alarming inroads into Africa and been detected in four African countries.  With funding from EGHI, Prof. Vazquez-Prokopec’s team is working in partnership with Jigjiga University in Ethiopia and the Autonomous University of Yucatan, Mexico to study the invasive mosquito’s behavior, insecticide resistance, and other factors to inform strategies for protecting communities. This collaborative research will inform local, national, and global efforts to prevent urban malaria in Africa and protect the lives of millions from this devastating parasitic disease, a leading killer worldwide.

Dr. Jacob Kariuki from Emory School of Nursing received EGHI funding to continue field research this summer to measure household energy use and the construct of cardiovascular health in Kenya. Only a few population-based studies focusing on cognition and cardiovascular health have been conducted in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) and more data is urgently needed to inform interventions. The Kenya Brain and Heart Health study may provide valuable insights on the potential co-occurrence of traditional and non-traditional cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors in SSA and inform global efforts to develop risk mitigation strategies that are tailored for local contexts. Household air pollution from cooking and heating fires is strongly associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). Training and collaborative activities aim to strengthen efforts to build local capacity for subsequent studies focusing on household-and lifestyle-based interventions to mitigate CVD risk and age-related cognitive decline in SSA, where the global burden of CVD is highest and the elderly population is growing at the fastest rate in the world. 

Emory University’s safe+natal program, a maternal health project, has demonstrated massive success in improving pregnancy outcomes in Maya communities in Guatemala and is among the top five finalists under consideration for a $9 million grant from the MacArthur Foundation’s Lever for Change Maternal & Infant Health Award.  safe+natal harnesses smartphone technology to guide midwives and community-based health providers through taking accurate measurements of maternal health and fetal development. Emory Assistant Professor of Human Health and Sociology and EGHI Faculty Fellow, Dr. Rachel Hall-Clifford co-founded safe+natal with her husband, Dr. Gari Clifford, Chair of the Department of Biomedical Informatics, and describes her first child as “patient-zero” for testing the low-cost, mobile-based technology that they created.

The safe+natal team is working with EGHI’s Child Health and Mortality Prevention Surveillance (CHAMPS) program to redesign the toolkit for use in Sierra Leone where there is a high burden of preventable stillbirth and infant deaths, with the goal of connecting women and infants to appropriate perinatal care and reducing maternal and infant mortality. Learn more about safe+natal’s work with local partners to empower communities through co-designed tools and sustainable solutions to improve health equity.

EGHI Presents Key Considerations for Equitable Partnerships in Global Health

EGHI’s Dr. Senait Kebede presented key considerations for equitable partnerships in global health at the 14th Annual Global Health Conference hosted by the Consortium for Universities in Global Health (CUGH). With a focus on the role of academics and global health institutions, 47 Emory and 17 partner respondents were surveyed to gather perspectives on equity in global health partnerships. While there was agreement across 18 indicators, the two groups significantly differed in their perspectives across three indicators, namely fair compensation, infrastructure, and sustainability.

Student recipients of EGHI’s Field Scholars Awards Program also presented their research at CUGH’s 2023 Annual Global Health Conference.  Students from the 2022 summer project teams presented posters, including Quality Improvement at Muhimbili National Hospital in Tanzania and a poster focused on disaster preparedness among refugees in Clarkston, GA.

Global Health Practice

EGHI Programs Positioned to Deliver Global Health Impact

March 13-17, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 2023 CHAMPS Network Meeting brings together scientific experts and health leaders to address global child mortality. Over 160 scientific experts and leaders from 14 countries across the CHAMPS network engaged in a series of presentations, panels, and interactive sessions to share knowledge and discuss priorities. Participants also agreed next steps for mobilizing CHAMPS findings into policy and practice to save lives, improving the quality of care for children and infants in primary care clinics and hospitals, implementing interventions to address malnutrition, and using the CHAMPS platform to conduct scientific studies. 

April 19, IANPHI released its 2022 Progress Report reflecting on over 15 years of work to expand the global network of National Public Health Institutes to 115 across nearly 100 countries and significant milestones during the last year. Learn more about these, including signing an historic agreement with the World Health Organization, groundbreaking work on Integrated Disease Surveillance, IANPHI’s presentation on the opening day of the World Health Summit in Berlin, and more in this annual report.

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