Public health students plan community intervention in Swaziland during break
Pictured at a restaurant in Los Angeles Chinatown are, from left: Christian Nkmambule, counselor of the embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland; public health student Tim Wolff, who is the logistics coordinator for the AIDS conference; Chenits Pettigrew, PhD, vice president of finance for nonprofit organization Project Africa; Condessa Curley, MD, MPH, MBA, president of Project Africa; public health student Melissa Sykes, who will be directing the AIDS conference; Ephraim Hlophe, Swaziland’s ambassador to the United States; public health student Mike Mashni, who has directed development for the Swaziland projects; and S. Eric Anderson, PhD, MBA, associate professor, department of health administration, SPH, and chair of the department’s MBA program.
Forget spending spring break on a surfboard or snowboard. About 30 SPH faculty members, students, alumni, employees, and community members are traveling to Swaziland for their spring vacations to work on a half dozen community development projects, including the grand opening of an HIV/AIDS counseling and testing center that was paid for largely by SPH student fundraising efforts.
Following a similar trip last spring break to the southern African countries of Swaziland and Lesotho, student Mike Mashni led School of Public Health fundraising efforts and gathered thousands of dollars to build the first HIV/AIDS Voluntary Counseling and Testing (VCT) Clinic in Manzini.
The grand opening for the VCT clinic will take place the morning of March 19 with the LLU group on hand to attend.
Another project the group will work on is an SPH-organized AIDS conference to be held March 20 at a Manzini church. Experts—including the School of Public Health’s Ron Mataya, MD, assistant professor and chair of the global health department—will address the public about issues surrounding HIV and AIDS. SPH student Melissa Sykes, the conference director, is working closely with Condessa Curley, MD, MPH, MBA, president of Los Angeles nonprofit Project Africa, as well as the AIDS ministry program of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists and the embassy of the Kingdom of Swaziland.
Funds have also been raised to pay for the construction of an orphanage and a variety of other community development projects. The groundbreaking for the orphanage is scheduled for the spring break trip. Some of the projects and people involved with them are:
• Community member Jeff Peterson is responsible for an irrigation project.
• SPH student Melissa Adamson designed a garden project that fellow student Samantha Chen will implement.
• Brad Jamison, PhD, MA, assistant professor, department of health administration, SPH, will provide leadership on a geographic information systems (GIS) project.
• LLU alumna Liz Damoff, MD, will be providing medical advice and supplies.
• LLU alumnus Chris Swisher, DDS, will be distributing dental kits.
• SPH student Tammy Young is responsible for pulling together health kits and AIDS kits for distribution.
• SPH assistant dean Teri Tamayose, EdD, MBA, assistant professor, department of health administration, SPH, will be coordinating arts and crafts projects at orphanages.
• Public health student Adam Moore will be filming a documentary of the trip.
• Renate Krause, PhD, director of development, SPH, will be coordinating the collection of African art for an auction to be held on June 10 at Wong Kerlee International Conference Center. Last year, $3,500 was raised.
Contact Dr. Anderson at <firstname.lastname@example.org> or at extension 47109 should you have an interest in joining the group on the trip or providing financial support for any of the projects.
By S. Eric Anderson, PhD, MBA, and Heather Reifsnyder