I have recently completed my practicum and conducted research with a team from UNC and the École des Hautes Etudes en Santé Publique in France. Together, we have worked on a qualitative sub-study based in a semi-rural area of Benin.
Over this summer, I developed a codebook to analyze thirty transcripts on maternal depression and knowledge and behaviors associated with anemia, malaria, and helminth infection among women and children. Additionally, I have learned to use a new qualitative analysis software, Dedoose, to facilitate the analysis process. Through my practicum, I have further developed my qualitative analysis skills and acquired new tools to expand my research scope. Focusing on the experiences of women during their maternal health period has also allowed me to gain a more nuanced understanding of maternal health challenges associated with infectious diseases and mental health. I hope to further these insights in future projects on maternal health, specifically in sub-Saharan Africa. Through my data analysis, I have also gained insight into social and structural factors that impact adherence to treatment plans and health promotion, such as challenges with the affordability of treatment and lack of knowledge surrounding treatment options.
This practicum experience has been incredibly rewarding and informative and has set me on a path toward further exploring maternal and child health!