Improving health care delivery in stable setting and emergencies requires simple and effective tools. A overarching research theme is in simplifying tools to meet the specific needs of countries with poor infrastructure. Areas of research focus specifically on vaccination, mental health, nutrition and medically-guided self-medication interventions for the home.
Vaccination saves millions of lives, but even more disease and deaths can be prevented through improvements in vaccines and vaccine-delivery systems.
Our research priorities include:
- Exploring the use of thermostable vaccines in a controlled cold chain. A project in collaboration with OPTIMISE.
- Addressing issues of reduced dosage of vaccine for use in emergencies to reduce morbidity and mortality
- Advocating and testing vaccines whose technical specifications, including presentation, packaging and storage meet the needs of lower resource settings
Mental Health care for children
In many contexts, mental health care is hindered by the lack of trained mental health professionals. This problem is particularly acute when it comes to children’s mental health, where few tools exist to aid in screening of children and their eventual referral to a mental health professional. Our research focuses on the validation of screening scales for children that can be administered by non-mental health professionals. Children showing signs of distress can then be referred to appropriate care.
In nutrition, our research focuses on evaluating simpler admission criteria for children in need of nutritional treatment. This research includes exploring the benefits and risk of using the Mid-upper-arm circumference (MUAC) as a unique criteria.
Health seeking behaviors, including self-medication are a common practice in both developed and developing countries. Knowing that self-medication occurs, an additional area of research is on the development of interventions aimed to equip mothers, traditionally the care provider in the home, to provide medically guided care to children outside of traditional healthcare settings.