Mfangano Island Community Health Field Station Established as a New Fogarty Global Health Fellowship Site

October 15, 2018

PhD students and postdoctoral trainees who wish to apply for a Fogarty Global Health Fellowship beginning in July 2019 may now propose research studies under the mentorship of Dr. Chas Salmen at the Mfangano Island Community Health Field Station.

Applications are now being accepted for Fogarty Global Health Fellows for 12-month fellowships. These research fellowships are focused on critical, inter-related areas of health in low-income countries and provide outstanding opportunities for highly motivated doctoral students and postdocs to experience research training at top-ranked, NIH-funded research centers in locations including Thailand, India, Peru, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda.

Fellowships provide trainees a stipend, travel funding, insurance, and research funds to implement their studies. Applicants must identify a University of Minnesota faculty mentor and a mentor at their host institution research site at the time of application.

Applicants interested in conducting research under the guidance of Dr. Salmen should contact him directly no later than October 26 to discuss research proposal and mentorship plan in preparation for the November 12 deadline.

About Mfangano Island Community Health Field Station
The remote fishing communities of Mfangano Island Division, along the shores of Lake Victoria in Western Kenya, experience some of the highest maternal and neonatal mortality rates in East Africa. Given the severe constraints of the overburdened and under-resourced health system here, families and providers are frequently unprepared to manage pregnancy-related, obstetrical, and neonatal emergencies, and few resources exist to support patients with emergency triage, referrals, and transport to definitive care on the mainland.

Current Research Activities
A local community-based organization, the Organic Health Response—Ekialo Kiona Center (OHR-EKC) has developed an innovative adaptation of a “patient navigation” model to improve access to emergency maternal and newborn health (MNH) services within Mfangano Island Division. The program relies upon local community health workers (CHWs) who are trained to serve as “Health Navigators”, i.e. educators, referral coordinators, and patient advocates, supported by a fleet of locally managed emergency boats and an emergency medical fund.

Through a mixed-methods, observational cohort study investigators from Maseno University, University of Minnesota (UMN) and OHR-EKC are currently assessing barriers influencing access to emergency pregnancy, obstetrical and neonatal care among patients seeking care at 9 health centers on Mfangano Island, as well as the preliminary impact and feasibility/acceptability of the Health Navigation approach for improving access to MNH services and shortening delays in care.

Interested Fogarty Applicants
Contact Dr. Salmen, Field Station Director, at salme048@umn.edu by Friday, 10/26. Include a CV that indicates your current academic status and affiliation, lists past research experience and publications, and a statement about your interests in conducting research with the study team on Mfangano Island. Doctoral students and postdocs (within 3 years completion of degree) are eligible in any field, only proposals with a focus on health research are considered. Mfangano Island Community Health Field Station is especially interested in trainees with experience or interest in family medicine, emergency medicine, OB/GYN, and public health.

Note: Application extended until November 15, 2018. Materials and submission instructions are at www.fogartyfellows.org. Eligibility questions or questions about other eligible sites may be directed to Molly McCoy, UMN Fogarty Fellowship Coordinator, mccoy019@umn.edu.