Global Health Programs

The Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health has been involved in global health since 2002 with formalization of the Global Health Program in 2008. The program started mainly as an HIV research and education enterprise collaborating with investigators and educators from all continents and has since developed into an interdisciplinary and inclusive program with relationships with multiple international institutions. Formal memorandum’s of understanding exist with Wuhan University (Hubei province, China), the George Institute for International Health –India (Andhra Pradesh, India), Sivananda Rehabilitation Home (Hyderabad, India), International Center for Human Health Advancement (Andhra Pradesh, India), and pending Nizam’s Institute for Medical Sciences (Hyderabad, India). Faculty members of the Section of Infectious Diseases have participated in global health programs in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and the Americas. Program activities, publications and presentations in global health include HIV/STD prevention, global ART scale up, innovative programs for orphans and vulnerable children based on micro credit and health education, cardiovascular disease prevention, international pharmaceutical industry policy, HIV/TB co-infection, TB diagnosis and treatment, health worker safety and infectious control, and a variety of other infectious diseases, including hepatitis B and C, avian influenza control, malaria prevention and treatment, cholera, and Chikungunya fever.

Research

The program in global health conducts research from population, community health and public health perspectives. Acknowledging the burden of diverse infectious and non-infectious disease processes, the program collaborates with a number of sections within the department of medicine, multiple departments within the Univesity, a number of institutions around the country and multiple foreign institutions to provide a truly interdisciplinary approach to global health.

Current research areas include epidemiologic and social network studies of HIV, HSV-2 and Chlamydia infection in India and China, Novel HIV prevention strategies in Asia, HIV and STI seroepidemiologic studies in high-risk male cohorts such as truck-drivers and men who have sex with men. Cost-effectiveness of HIV therapy in Uganda. Cardiovascular and diabetes disease prevention in South Asia. Health worker migration patterns (“brain drain”), and pharmaceutical industry policy in India. These and other collaborative projects have been funded in part by the NIH, CDC, Lancet, foreign government, and private foundation and pharmaceutical support.

Future research includes approaches to integrating infectious and non-infectious disease health systems, and hospital infection epidemiology.

Education

Current projects include training and technical assistance for HIV prevention and treatment and tropical medicine in Andhra Pradesh, India via the Geographical Medicine Scholars Program, and in Hubei Province, China via the Wuhan University Medical Education Reform and the HIV Health Worker Training Projects. ID fellows have the opportunity to travel with faculty to international sites to enrich their clinical and training experience, and potentially to participate in global health research and program operational research.

Education programs have been linked to the research program and include both general health and disease specific education.

General

A major initiative led by Dr. John Schneider MD, MPH has been the establishment of the Geographic Medicine Scholars Program (GMSP) with close collaboration with the Section of Emergency Medicine. In October 2006, this novel 12 month global competency curriculum for residents and medical students that has included an international medical experience in South India, was created. Housed within the curriculum of the Pritzker School of Medicine, the GMSP is designed to teach skills needed for clinical or research activities in international resource-limited settings and consists of a monthly symposium, travel clinic, and an international clinical experience. Monthly symposia include participation by other University of Chicago faculty and includes guest lecturers who present topics on Travel Medicine, International Research Ethics, Disaster Relief and Preparedness, High Altitude Medical Care, and Emergency Care in Resource Limited Settings. Scholars gain practical experience at the Section of Infectious Diseases’ Travel Clinic, where they prepare patients for travel abroad and within the Emergency Medicine Department. Scholars continue their training with a one month international clinical experience led by Department of Medicine faculty and faculty from our partnering institutions in Hyderabad South India where they are involved in patient care, education and cultural exchange and participate in a rural community medicine program, peri-natal care program, and rotate through multiple government and private hospital and care facilities.

The Wuhan University Medical Education Reform Project is a university-wide initiative that started in 2008. Led by Renslow Sherer and the Section of Infectious Diseases and Global Health, the project will provide technical assistance to Wuhan University for comprehensive reform of their medical education curriculum and methodology, with a special emphasis on infectious diseases and public health. Current faculty and fellow opportunities exist for exchanges for clinical care, training and mentoring, and operational research in infectious disease prevention and treatment and in medical education reform practices and outcomes.

Disease Specific

The HIV Health Worker Training Program is a collaboration between the Section of Infectious Diseases, Project HOPE, the Hubei Province Centers for Disease Control, and Wuhan University that was developed by Renslow Sherer, M.D. in 2003. Several ID faculty members participated in clinical mentoring and training visits to the hardest hit counties in Hubei Province. As a result of this program, over 2,000 physicians were training in HIV medicine and the use of generic antiretroviral therapy, and the mortality from HIV fell from 49% to 8.8% from 2002 to 2006. [Sherer et al, Health Affairs 2008;27:1140-1147] Current faculty and fellow opportunities exist for exchanges for clinical care, training and mentoring, and operational research.

The “HIV Elective” curricular development program is an HIV curriculum established for medical students within the Andhra Pradesh AIDS Consortium, a group of 25 private medical colleges in Andhra Pradesh. Supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Lancet, this elective is lead by Dr. John Schneider MD, MPH and mirrors a similar course offered since 2004 at the University of Chicago. The program includes both didactic and interactive sessions, focusing primarily on the science behind HIV transmission. Over 5000 medical students have participated in the elective which is ongoing.

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