Simone Asare - Ghana
Internship location: Navrongo, Ghana
Career goal: To improve the health and well-being of the poor as a physician, public health-researcher and public servant
The goal of my research was to explore the relationship between nutrition, malaria and anemia among children in northern Ghana. I collaborated on this project with the Navrongo Health Research Center and the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research. I interviewed 237 caregivers in the Kassena-Nankana District about the nutritional history of their children during the wet and dry seasons in order to assess how diet may be correlated with the prevalence of malaria and anemia among children in the region.
Value of experience:
My YSPH internship has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life because it provided me with the opportunity to get a clearer picture of the process of conducting public health research. My experience in Navrongo affirmed my passion for conducting public health research because I realized that through research, I can explore how social determinants of health impact chronic and infectious diseases in the lives of the indigent; moreover, I can use my public health knowledge to critically analyze data that will facilitate advocacy for the improved health and social welfare of the underserved around the globe.
I learned how to ride a clutch motorbike; it was awesome!
Simone Asare - Ghana
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On my motorbike and learning to use a clutch. The motorbike helped me immerse myself in the rich culture of northern Ghana and zip to towns such as Navrongo.
After presenting preliminary findings from my malaria and nutrition research to colleagues at the Navrongo Health Research Center (NHRC), I had time to reflect on the collection of data from 29 villages. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to experience the rich culture of northern Ghana.
After entering data from the nutritional history questionnaire we were able to analyze potential correlations between nutritional history and malaria morbidity.
Celebrating the completion of the nutrition and malaria research study with my research team. We presented preliminary findings to colleagues at the Navrongo Health Research Center (NHRC) in northern Ghana.
Taking a break with my preceptor, Dr. Frank Atuguba (left), and other colleagues at the Navrongo Health Research Center (NHRC), the main site for my research. The NHRC conducts research on chronic and infectious diseases in an effort to improve the health and welfare of Ghanaians.
After listening to a research participant describe the nutritional history of her child, I was able to interact with the youngster.
At the Navrongo Health Research Center, Patrick Awumbire, a research assistant on my “Nexus Between Nutrition and Malaria” project reviews questionnaires he administered throughout the Kassena-Nankana District.
After interviewing caregivers about the nutritional history of their children in Sirigu, I enjoyed interacting with the children.
Making music with rocks, I learned about the history of the slave trade that began in northern Ghana at the Pikworo Slave Camp in Paga.
Taking a break from collecting data, I went on an excursion to Tono Dam, one of the largest agricultural dams located in Western Africa. It is important to the farming livelihood of many of the inhabitants of the Kassena-Nankana District.
Delightful Toubani! This steamed bean cake dish eaten with meat and a pepper-based tomato stew was a novel but tasteful dish during my stay in northern Ghana.
The preparation of shea butter, while labor intensive, is a process that results in oil from the shea nut fruit that can be used for cooking and for medicinal purposes as an ointment to relieve body pains.
I had the opportunity to see crocodiles at the Paga Crocodile Pond in northern Ghana.
Please don’t bite me! I worked up enough courage to touch a crocodile after northern Ghanaian tour guides at the Paga Crocodile Pond urge me to do so.