Students wow with scope of projects at Global Health Night

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"We are advocating for more funding for injuries, and for road-traffic injuries specifically, because they contribute to the global cost of disease," says medical resident, Ipshita Prakash, MDCM'12, with Dr. Madhu Pai, Director of Global Health Programs (GHP) at McGill.

“We are advocating for more funding for injuries, and for road-traffic injuries specifically, because they contribute to the global cost of disease,” says medical resident, Ipshita Prakash, MDCM’12, with Dr. Madhu Pai, Director of Global Health Programs (GHP) at McGill. / Photo: Owen Egan

What does it cost a developing nation to treat a road-traffic injured patient? And how much money could be saved through prevention?

These are some of the questions raised by medical resident Ipshita Prakash, MDCM’12, and her coauthors from the Centre for Global Surgery, McGill University Health Centre, in a project presented as a poster at the annual Global Health Night held on November 3 in the ballroom in New Residence Hall.

“Money is often directed towards infectious diseases and maternal child health, but then this category is ignored,” said Prakash, who points out that road-traffic injuries are 100% preventable.

The evening, which featured keynote speaker Mario C. Raviglione, Director of the Global TB Programme at the World Health Organization, gave a sense of the scope of global health projects underway at McGill.

Across the aisle from Prakash was MSc Epidemiology student Matthew Secrest, who explained how he had travelled to China to work with a leading expert on a type of chemical analysis related to air pollution. “I learned nonstop for three months.”

"We got good results, but we have to come up with a more sustainable model," says MD-MBA student Collins Oghor. / Photo: Owen Egan

“We got good results, but we have to come up with a more sustainable model,” says MD-MBA student Collins Oghor. / Photo: Owen Egan

MD-MBA student Collins Oghor was also on hand to present a project testing a novel way of increasing accessibility and accuracy of TB testing in India, the country with the largest burden of the disease. The idea: Offer private laboratories a better deal on diagnostic technology on the condition that they set a price ceiling and submit to periodic external quality assessment (EQA).

“I was in India for five weeks. We got good results. Our labs performed well on the EQA, but the model was a bit too expensive to be sustainable,” said Oghor.

Dr. Madhu Pai, Director of Global Health Programs (GHP), addressed the crowd, mentioning the following highlights from the preceding year: his new Fundamentals of Global Health course, which had quickly filled to capacity with students from a variety of programs; $367,000 worth of new travel award and fellowship opportunities made possible by alumni and friends; and the first Summer Institute of Infectious Diseases and Global Health.

The festivities culminated in an awards ceremony, with philanthropist and former McGill chancellor Arnold Steinberg, who passed away on Friday, December 11, presenting the first-ever Steinberg Global Health Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Thank you to all the donors who made these awards possible and congratulations to all recipients. Medicine Focus looks forward to reporting on your projects next year.

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