Even as a nine-year-old in a Parisian classroom, Melinda Munos keenly observed injustice in French society. Having recently relocated to Paris, Munos was appalled that citizens from Africa, living in segregated and underserved Paris suburbs, got marginalized at the school.
“I can clearly remember my 9-year old sense of injustice and incomprehension at the treatment of my classmates,” she says.
This compassion has shaped her work, compelling her to help the underprivileged receive lifesaving basic health care. While pursuing a master's degree at the Bloomberg School she was disheartened to learn how many children under five die from causes that are almost entirely preventable—about 7.7 million every year.
Although there are interventions to save many of those children, too often they are not implemented at scale, even when the treatments are relatively inexpensive. “There are a lot of challenges related to the scale-up of even simple interventions,” says Munos. “That is one of the reasons I am currently working on an evaluation of a program to scale up key maternal and child health interventions.”
Now pursuing her thesis at the Bloomberg School, she’ll focus on newborn care practices and morbidity in rural Burkina Faso.
“I am excited to see how Burkina differs from previously-studied settings and how our data can help inform new approaches to improving newborn health in this setting,” she says.
Assistant Professor, Department of International Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health