10 Public Health Projects that Made a Difference in the Last 10 Years

Each year, the Talloires Network receives nominations for the MacJannet Prize for Global Citizenship, an international award that recognizes exceptional community engagement and service initiatives. This spring, TN undertook a comprehensive review of all 495 MacJannet Prize applications over eight years. A team of students and staff categorized all the nominations and identified several trends including the significant number of TN members engaged in critical public health work. Here’s a snap shot of ten programs ranging from education and awareness campaigns to emergency relief to providing primary health services:

  1. Urban Health Program – Aga Khan University (Pakistan): this 2009 first place winning program provides critical health and socio-economic support to people in Karachi settlements.
  1. HIV/AIDS Prevention – University of Mines and Technology (Ghana): started with an interactive FM radio station providing HIV/AIDS and public hygiene information in 1998, then expanding to handing out questionnaires, putting on community plays, and distributing condoms to local mining camps, this program has seen the HIV infection rate in its home town of Tarkwa, Ghana drop from 4% to 2.5%. It received the second place award in 2010.
  1. Wits Initiative for Rural Health Education – University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa): this program recruits disadvantaged students from rural areas into health science programs and supports them towards becoming health professionals. It received the third place award in 2014.
  1. IDEAL Sudan – Ahfad University for Women (Sudan): provides psycho-social support for primary school children in the Khartoum region of Sudan, especially those affected by war, internally displaced people, children with special needs, drop outs, and children living in extreme poverty. It was the 2015 third place honoree.
  1. Ziauddin Sikanderabad Community Partnership – Ziauddin University (Pakistan): In this program, which won second place in 2016, community members and university students from the faculties of medicine, dentistry, physiotherapy, and pharmacy work collaboratively to provide primary health care to the residents in underserved areas of Karachi.
  1. Tecnologías para la Comunidad – Tecnológico de Monterrey (Mexico): students and staff work side by side with a local hospital and other non-profit organizations to provide quality and functional prosthetic devices to amputees at a quarter of the market cost. This program received the third place award in 2016.
  1. Delft Community Outreach – Stellenbosch University (South Africa): Nominated in 2011, this program provides primary care to the underserved residents of Blikkiesdorp, Delft on weekends, as they cannot reach the day hospital during its normal hours on weekdays due to work and other responsibilities.
  1. Relief, Education, and Awareness for Community Health in Haiti (REACHH) – University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy (USA/Haiti): Nominated in 2013, REACHH makes healthcare more accessible to the residents of Chabin, Haiti and its surrounding villages, through the collaborative efforts of pharmacy students and American and Haitian doctors, nurses, and interpreters.
  1. LUMS Emergency Medical Services – Lahore University of Management Sciences (Pakistan): Provides the LUMS students, faculty, and surrounding community with emergency medical care, and it makes LUMS the first university to implement a student-run EMS service in Pakistan. It was nominated for the award in 2011.
  1. Ghar Sudhar – University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (Pakistan): students in this program meet with commercial and small scale livestock farmers to assess needs and provide practical solutions, including large and small animal vaccination and deworming camps and a project for the eradication of mastitis. It was nominated in 2015.

Jack Vallerie, Kate Hirschboeck, and Matias Ramos contributed to this article.