When researching public health graduate programs, it’s important to discover the research projects professors, departments and clinics are conducting. But it’s also valuable to learn what some of the recent, and not so recent, graduates are doing and how they continue to be involved in the field of public health. For this reason, I’m expanding the Student Spotlight series started in the Prospectus to the blog.
|“An infant quietly allows a VIR band to be affixed at a Trust for Vaccines & Immunization (TVI) site in Gulshan-e-Iqbal township.”|
For the first feature, I’d like to introduce you to Dr. Noor Rakhshani, DrPH’14, MPH’08. It was during her doctoral thesis research that she put together the pieces to save lives in her native Pakistani homeland, where she too almost died as a newborn. One of the major problems facing Pakistani children is access to vaccinations as well as receiving the vaccinations in the regimented time frame. Combining her research on vaccinations in Pakistani and time-dependent and temperature-independent indicators, Dr. Rakhshani received a Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations grant to fund a study on anklet bands that would replace the paper vaccination card and help parents bring their babies back to clinics for their next round of vaccinations.
This project that began in 2012 has now received two additional grants to fund Dr. Rakhshani’s concept. Her initial clinical trial, riddled with political red tape, natural disasters, and deadly attacks, was successful and is now going to have simultaneous testing in Pakistan and Nigeria. Dr. Rakhshani came to Hopkins with the hope of Saving Lives-Millions at a Time. Through her VIR band, she is living her dream.
To read Dr. Rakhshani’s full story of her research, check out the Fall Johns Hopkins School of Public Health Magazine article, The Dream.