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Global Health Student Builds Skills to Contribute to Hypertension Research in Tanzania

When you’re doing research in another country, it helps to speak the local language. Dr. Sophie Galson, a master’s student at the Duke Global Health Institute, has been collaborating on a research project on hypertension in the emergency department of Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Center in Moshi, Tanzania.

To support her contribution to this ongoing work, she received a Graduate Student Training Enhancement Grant (GSTEG) from the Office of the Vice Provost for Interdisciplinary Studies to take a residential immersive Swahili course at The Training Centre for Development Cooperation in Eastern and Southern Africa. Her faculty mentor is Catherine Staton, assistant professor of surgery and assistant research professor of global health.

Galson, Staton, and their colleagues Francis Karia, Kajiru Kilonzo, Joseph Lunyera, Uptal PatelJulian Hertz, and John Stanifer recently published “Epidemiology of hypertension in Northern Tanzania: A community-based mixed-methods study” in the journal BMJ Open. Stanifer, a nephrologist and clinical researcher at Duke, was Galson’s main mentor for this paper. Because the burden of disease is substantial in that part of the country, and optimal hypertension control is rare, the authors conclude that transdisciplinary strategies sensitive to local practices should be explored in order to facilitate early diagnosis and sustained delivery of care.

Through GSTEG, Duke doctoral and master’s students can stretch beyond their core disciplinary training to acquire skills, knowledge, or experiences that will enhance the approach to their original research. To learn more, view the other 2017-2018 grantees and see the 2016-2017 GSTEG summary report. The next call for proposals will be in early 2018.

Photos courtesy of Sophie Galson and Duke Global Health Institute