The Sparkman Center for Global Health has funding available to help award 3-5 students $1,000 each to attend either the 2020 Annual Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH) Global Health Conference held April 18-20 in Washington DC or Global Health & Innovation Conference (GHIC) 2020 held April 4-5, 2020 at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. Applications will be accepted until December 10, 2019 and will give preference to students having submitted an abstract at one of these conferences. Selected students recieving funding will recieve notification by December 16, 2019. Apply below! 

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On Friday, October 11, 2019, the Sparkman Center for Global Health (SCGH) celebrated the 40th Anniversary of the Center. Prior to this 6 members of the External Advisory Committee (EAC) met to discuss past, present, and future directions of the Sparkman Center. Of these 6 members, 4 participated in an Expert Panel: Lessons from the Field of Global Health. Those participating included Dr. David Freedman, Dr. Ricardo Izurieta, Gail Reed, and Dr. Sten Vermund. 

The 40th Anniversary Celebration took place at the AEIVA Friday afternoon with attendance including 4 past Sparkman Center Directors and representatitives, Dr. Juan Navia, son of Director Dr. Juan Navia, Dr. Sten Vermund, Dr. Nalini Sathiakumar, and Dr. Craig Wilson as well as all 6 members of the External Advisory Committee. Additionally, Sparkman Scholars, Fellows, Global Health Certificate Students, and other affiliated with the Sparkman Center for Global Health in a variety of ways including past and present affiliation.

The celebration began with current SCGH Director, Dr. Janet Turan as she introduced and welcomed attendees as well as introducing Speakers, Dr. Paul Erwin, Dr. Craig Wilson, and Dr. Muktar Aliyu. Dr. Paul Erwin, Dean of the School of Public Health emphasized the importance of global health and the impact global health has had on his career as well as the School of Public Health. Dr. Craig Wilson described the past history of the Sparkman Center since its conception. After this, the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Aliyu spoke to the audience on how the Sparkman Center for Global Health impacted his life and career. Finally, Dr. Janet Turan recognized the various Sparkman Center Programs and current directions including Sparkman Staff, Scholars, Fellows, and Pilot Grant Awardees. The formal event was followed by a reception and dance performance by a UAB Dance Troupe known as TRIBE. 

 

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    Turkey

    Over the summer Drs. Janet Turan, Director of the Sparkman Center, and Bulent Turan, Associate Professor in Psychology, met with colleagues at two institutions in Turkey to develop partnerships. First, they met with colleagues at Koc University to discuss collaborations related to the study of stigma in Turkish society, and particularly stigma and discrimination faced by refugees in Turkey.

    They also met with researchers from Istanbul Aydin University about collaboration in their work with Project Aspire. Project Aspire is a initiative from Columbia University's School of Social Work that investigates forced migration in Jordan and Turkey. ASPIRE stands for Advancing Solutions in Policy Implementation, Research & Engagement for Refugees. 

     Turkey collaborations

    Dominican Republic

    The first week of September, Dr. Turan, Dr. Budhwani, and Katie Adams traveled to the Dominican Republic to visit partners at Universidad Iberoamericana (UNIBE) and the Caribbean Vulnerable Communities Coalition (CVC).

    While there, Drs. Turan & Budhwani presented seminars at UNIBE regarding intersectional stigma and the history of reserach collaborations between UAB and UNIBE. The team also visited the Instituto de Medicina Tropical y Salud Global (Institute of Tropical Medicine & Global Health) at UNIBE, made plans for upcoming grant submissions, and held a roundtable with community organizations -coordinated by the CVC- to receive feedback on future plans. 

     

    • Visiting the Institute of Tropical Medicine & Global Health

      Visiting the Institute of Tropical Medicine & Global Health

      Visiting the Institute of Tropical Medicine & Global Health
    • Bougainvillea in the Zona Colonial

      Bougainvillea in the Zona Colonial

      Bougainvillea in the Zona Colonial
    • Touring UNIBE's campus

      Touring UNIBE's campus

      Touring UNIBE's campus
    • Dr. Turan's seminar at UNIBE

      Dr. Turan's seminar at UNIBE

      Dr. Turan's seminar at UNIBE
    • Dr. Budhwani's seminar at UNIBE

      Dr. Budhwani's seminar at UNIBE

      Dr. Budhwani's seminar at UNIBE
    • Drs. Paulino & Budhwani discussing their research collaborations

      Drs. Paulino & Budhwani discussing their research collaborations

      Drs. Paulino & Budhwani discussing their research collaborations
    • Puerta de la Misericordia - the first gate to the city

      Puerta de la Misericordia - the first gate to the city

      Puerta de la Misericordia - the first gate to the city
    • Conversations with community organizations

      Conversations with community organizations

      Conversations with community organizations
    • Conversations with community organizations

      Conversations with community organizations

      Conversations with community organizations
    • Along the boardwalk in Santo Domingo

      Along the boardwalk in Santo Domingo

      Along the boardwalk in Santo Domingo
     

     

     

    Fred at SIFAT 1Fred with UAB students and their solar cookerDiscussions about conservation, development and sustainability. Rural locations. A focus on both human health and the health of our natural environment. None of this was new for Fred Kariankei, and yet, the context was very different than his usual day-to-day. 
     
    For the second year in a row, the Sparkman Center for Global Health sponsored a community member from the Maasai Mara in Kenya to participate alongside UAB students in the Southern Institute for Appropriate Technology (SIFAT) 2-week field course this May. 
     
    Fred Kariankei is a native of the famous Maasai Mara in Narok County, Kenya, home to the seventh wonder of the world. Currently he is working with Nashulai Maasai conservancy as a manager. He focuses on ensuring sustainability through innovative ideas that will earn the conservancy income, and implementing programs designed to better the lives of conservancy members.
     
    Fred at Maasai 2Fred at home in the Maasai Mara vaccinating animals for foot & mouth disease
     
    While at SIFAT, Fred took a special interest in constructing efficient cookstoves. As Fred explained, “A problem in homes [in the Maasai Mara] is that it’s very smoky. There’s very little ventilation. People don’t spend a lot of time inside during the day so they don’t need a lot of light and at night they want their homes to be warm.”
     
    Most Maasi homes use 3 stones for cooking, which doesn’t maximize the use of firewood and emits more smoke. The fuel-efficient cookstoves constructed at SIFAT use 16 bricks and have a ventilation pipe so that smoke leaves the home. Fred said it was “really great to learn about these simple, easy to make stoves” that could positively impact the health of his community.
     
    Fred at SIFAT 2
     
    Fred also appreciated the multiple perspectives of students attending SIFAT. On the one hand, there were UAB students who were largely in their undergraduate studies and hadn’t necessarily traveled abroad before. Then there was Fred and others who traveled directly from their homes in lower-income countries to partake in the SIFAT training. This diversity and cultural exchange was a highlight for all students involved.
     
    Last year, Margaret (Maggie) Sakian Koshal traveled from Kenya to participate in the SIFAT Training. Maggie also works with the Nashulai Masaai converserancy as the Family, Gender, and Education Coordinator. She is very passionate about empowering young girls and ending the practices of female genital mutilation (FGM). You can read more about the work she does on their website.
     
    maggie 2Maggie & school children. Photo credit, Nashulai Conservancy website
     

     
    SIFAT course counts as an elective for undergraduate students studying public health and for graduate students pursuing the graduate certificate in Global Health Studies.
     
    If you’re interested in visiting SIFAT, make sure to join our newsletter list. The Sparkman Center will organize a day-trip to SIFAT this fall. Dates to come.