MPH Panama Practicum 2012: The Panama Adventure Begins

June 30, 2012
Author: Rachel Adams

The first few students have arrived in Panama! We are quickly getting accustomed to the language, humidity, and thriving energy of the city. After conducting background literature reviews on the Kuna and Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous communities as well as nutrition, maternal and child health, and vaccines in Panama and Latin America, we greatly appreciate being in this beautiful country. There will be much more to come once the practicum begins on Sunday, July 1st! For more details of our pre-practicum adventures, watch Maurice Jackson´s video clip at:

About the MPH Panama Practicum:

A group of 15 University of Southern California graduate students are researching public health in Panama City, Panama, for a two-week international practicum, organized by the USC Master of Public Health (MPH) program. The students have been divided into three groups to work on maternal and child health, vaccination, environmental infectious diseases, nutrition and physical activity.

One group will be surveying patients about the healthcare system at a local clinic and proposing interventions to improve vaccination, infant development and women’s health. Another group will be in the field responding to outbreaks of environmentally spread infectious diseases and working to control common vectors such as mosquitoes. The last group will be calculating body mass index measurements for elementary school students and developing methods to improve nutrition and exercise within the school.

During their trip, the students will also be attending lectures on Panama’s healthcare system and statistics as well as visiting a remote indigenous tribe. Before leaving Panama, each student will be providing a deliverable that is intended to improve health in Panama.

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