211388 Controlling diarrheal disease through the augmentation of knowledge and practice as implemented in an East African consortium of medical and public health faculties

Monday, November 9, 2009: 4:45 PM

Jeffrey K. Griffiths, MD, MPH & TM , Department of Public Health and Family Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Since 2004, Tufts University has collaborated with East African public health programs (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda) around water and health education and research. Our partners have formed a group called the East African Curriculum Consortium to coordinate their efforts. Using common course information management system (TUSK), we are educating public health, medical, nursing, environmental health, veterinary, engineering, nutrition, and dental students via shared interdisciplinary courses, case studies, chat sessions, and shared project work. Participation has improved each university's curricula; enabled institutions in locations with the greatest health challenges to contribute to trans-national education and discourse; and provided involved. faculty, students, and graduates with an enhanced work environment. The Millennium Development Goals regarding water and sanitation for sub-Saharan Africa will not be met by 2015. Underserved populations are concentrated in rural areas and urban slums which will not be reached by capital-intense vertical programs. The percentage of urban residents with household taps has fallen from 45% (1990) to 36% (2004), and is only 4% in rural areas. Recent data shows that household-level interventions, including health education, are highly effective at decreasing diarrheal diseases at low cost ($20 per DALY averted, versus $13,000 for piped water/sewerage). Thus the burden for primary prevention of waterborne diseases will continue to fall upon public health, medical, and allied health sciences professions, and upon the communities themselves. Improving the education, training and professional esteem of health workers about water and sanitation is an important avenue for reducing loss of life in sub-Saharan Africa.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss the relative benefits of co-curriculum development.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: My education, background, and professional experience have equipped me to being recognized as an expert in this field.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.