Over the past year, I have been working with colleagues within the Division of Neonatology and at the School of Public Health to gain exposure to existing research projects related to neonatal global health and to review the existing literature. I now am working with mentors such as Dr. Luke Mullany to formulate a research project building on Dr. Mullany’s previously published work on chlorhexidine-based cord cleansing, an intervention proven to decrease mortality in vulnerable neonates. The established site in Nepal affords a unique opportunity for developing additional interventions to improve neonatal morbidity and mortality given existing research infrastructure and community-based support.
I hope to utilize the travel grant from the Center for Global Health to help fund initial travel to the research site in Nepal, in order to learn more about the existing medical infrastructure, including the role of community health workers in assessing newborns and delivering medical care in the field. The Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Nepal Nutrition Intervention Project – Sarlahi (NNIPS) site is uniquely suited to allowing me to gain on-the-ground experience in global health while exploring possible interventions for the reduction of neonatal mortality. Additional funding will likely be required, and I continue to look for additional funding opportunities with my mentors. I recognize the challenges in conducting clinical research abroad, especially as a trainee, but hope to build a foundation for future work.