It’s me again! I can’t believe how fast this summer has gone. As I reflect on my summer and my work with UNC Zambia Hub as their intern, I realize all the experience I have gained with literature analysis, dissemination, and writing! In my last blog post, I talked about how I was helping with a systematic review to help identify risk factors for HIV acquisition during pregnancy and breastfeeding in sub-Saharan Africa. Since then, I also started work on the Hub’s secondary analysis assessing the impact of different HIV testing strategies on couples HIV testing. I was tasked with drafting the introduction for this paper which involved researching studies that have tested uptake of couples HIV testing and synthesizing that information. From this task I learned about how integral couples HIV testing can be prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission. This work further emphasized how the health of a child does not only fall on the shoulders of the mother but the father as well. My internship experience, as a whole, has given me a wealth of knowledge and experience working in research, which is exactly what I hoped to gain. More specifically, I sharpened my writing skills, expanded research techniques, and made great connections with leaders at UNC Zambia Hub.
The next step for me will be completing my master’s thesis for my Maternal and Child Health concentration which I hope to write, in some capacity, on the topic of mother-to-child HIV transmission. I also hope to finish my 2nd year in the MPH program strong and graduate in May 2023. From there I want work on research that produces solutions, and then actively implement and evaluate these solutions as it relates to maternal and child health. Until next time! 🙂
Hi there! My name is Jasmine Hodges, I’m a rising 2nd year MPH candidate in the Maternal, Child, and Family Health (MCFH) concentration. This summer I am working with UNC’s Zambia Hub as their analysis and dissemination intern. You may ask, what does that mean, haha? Well, right now I’m helping with a systematic review that evaluates literature to help identify risk factors for HIV acquisition during pregnancy and breastfeeding in sub-Saharan Africa.
So far, I’ve enjoyed working on the project because it combines two topics I’m passionate about, HIV prevention and MCH in a global setting. I specifically like that this research is focused on pregnant and breastfeeding women which is a population that is often overlooked. In addition to learning more about this population, I’m learning about the many methods of public health research; and gaining a deeper understanding of different epidemiologic terminology and measurements. The skills I learned in SPHG 712 are really coming in handy 🙂
As this summer continues, I hope this experience gives me some further insight on what I call “the behind-the-scenes work,” producing research that informs solutions. Prior to starting my MPH program, I worked a lot with community engagement and implementing interventions. I discovered that I really enjoyed this, but I wanted to learn more about how those solutions are created and how the ideas all begin; for me the best way to do that was through research. I look forward to this experience showing me more of that side, and in the future hopefully I will be able to culminate my skills to work with the best of both worlds.
Overall, this summer is off to a great start! I think there may be a few challenges since I am working from home. It will be important to take those necessary breaks and have intentional check-ins with my support system. One of my goals this summer is to explore the different coffee shops in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Durham to get out of the house and work. Wish me luck! 🙂