Asia

From examining the burden of lung cancer on Chinese women to facilitating cervical cancer screening in India, GHI is committed to improving the health of people of all ages in areas across Asia.

Monitoring and evaluation of UNICEF handwashing behavior change programs

Pavani Kalluri Ram, MD

Location: Kenya and Nepal
Department: Epidemiology and Environmental Health

To develop robust monitoring and evaluation plans, and to collect the necessary data to evaluate UNICEF-supported handwashing promotion programs in Kenya and Nepal.

Online Cancer Screening Modules

Arthur Michalek, PhD, FACE, Professor

Location: Middle East and North Africa
Department: Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Michalek is developing online modules for cancer screening in the Middle East and building a research and training program in North Africa.

Poverty Alleviation, Advancing Integration of Microfinance and Health in Asia

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: India and Asia
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives.

This project, in partnership with Freedom from Hunger, is a multi-year funding that supports efforts at poverty alleviation and the advancement of the integration of microfinance and health in India and Asia.

Chronic Illness / Non-Communicable Diseases

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: West Bengal
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives.

In partnership with Bandhan and Freedom from Hunger, this project involves developing village-based approaches to the identification, referral and treatment of individuals with chronic illnesses using mobile technology for communication, data collection and education. Bandhan recently opened a clinic one and half hours outside of Kolkata which will be used to treat chronic illnesses by a network of trained community health workers and health educators.

Training Community Health Workers

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: Jalpaiguri / Darjeeling
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives.

The West Bengal Voluntary Health Association is constructing an important training facility in the north of the state of West Bengal focused on improving the poor status of health workers in the districts of Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling. The project focus is to facilitate the training of 3,000 ASHAs (community health workers) with the help and support of the West Bengal government. 

Improving Health in a Tribal Area

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: Jamtara/Jharkhand
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives.

This project, in partnership with Reach-India, initially involves a household interview survey about health concerns, and the training of 10 community health workers. Each of the community health workers in turn works with 20 women's self-help groups (existing and newly organized). They provide health education, referral, health event motivation and health product distribution. 

Clinics for the Destitute/Street Children Initiative

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: New Delhi
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives.

In partnership with India Foundation this project provides support for the operations of three modest clinics, the first of which was started five years ago. A new initiative is focused on expanding care to street children in collaboration with existing organizations.

 

Photo by James Olson

Burden of Lung Cancer on Chinese Women: Taiyuan City Case Control Study

Lina Mu, MD, PhD

Location: China
Department
: Epidemiology and Environmental Health

The incidence of lung cancer among Chinese females is among the highest in the world, with about 80,000 new cases reported and approximately 64,000 deaths each year. The female Chinese population has a low smoking rate of two to four percent, but lung cancer etiology continues to be a problem in female non-smokers. 

Mu’s research seeks to link epidemiological information regarding smoking history, demographic data, family medical history, household information and diet with biomarkers of disease. She is also investigating the relationship between indoor and outdoor air pollution and lung cancer in this study.

Photo provided by Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Cancer Screening

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: Kolkata, India
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives.

In partnership with the Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute in Kolkata and Roswell Park Cancer Institute, this study developed and implemented the first large-scale cervical cancer screening project in northeast India. Over 30,000 of the targeted 50,000 women, who primarily live in rural villages within a four to five hour drive from Kolkata, have already been screened. Important findings have demonstrated how to improve the effectiveness of screening using combinations of the VIA (visualization) and Hybrid Capture (detecting presence of human papilloma virus DNA) approaches.

The Chittaranjan National Cancer Institute, in partnership with Roswell Park Cancer Institute, developed a new project involving oral cancer screening (30% of all cancers in India) using the new technology of autofluorescence.  

Photo provided by Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Caring for Disabled Children

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: Kolkata/Asansol, India
Department:
Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives. 

In Kolkata, the Office of Global Health Initiatives is collaborating with the Indian Institute of Cerebral Palsy and Sangam, an organization working with more than 400 people with disabilities across different villages, on a project with an aim to develop a new model for training community-based workers who care for and support disabled children. The project includes training of community-based rehabilitation workers for Sangam to significantly expand the number of disabled children served. Currently, partners are developing educational videos for staff and parents on the improved caring of disabled children that will be available through the use of mobile technology.

Photo provided by Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Caring for the Elderly

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: India
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives. 

In partnership with an NGO, this project designed and established a program for the care and support of the frail elderly in 45 rural villages.

Photo provided by Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Health Care for the Homeless

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: India
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives. 

In partnership with an Indian foundation, this project developed and opened a clinic for the homeless in New Delhi. A second one is under development.

Photo by Lina Mu

Air Pollution During the Beijing Olympics

Lina Mu, MD, PhD

Location: China
Department:
Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Lina Mu, UB assistant professor of Epidemiology and Environmental Health and a native of China, has received a three-year, $1.3 million grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences to study the short-term effects of particulate matter (PM) among Beijing residents.

China has high levels of air pollution, including fine particles in the air, known as particulate matter, which is known to increase the risk of illness and death from cardiopulmonary diseases and cancers.

Photo provided by Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Village-based Public Health Intervention Model

Arthur Goshin, MD, MPH

Location: Patna/Bihar, India
Department: Office of Global Health Initiatives; available for faculty and student collaboration, as well as for on-site global health fellowships funded through the Office of Global Health Initiatives. 

With help from Nidan, an NGO in the city of Patna, this project will implement public health interventions in rural villages. Interventions focus on handwashing and deworming, safe water and sanitation improvement.

Photo by Lina Mu

Adverse Health Effects Caused by the Consumption of Arsenic Contaminated Drinking Water

Xuefeng Ren, MD, PhD
In collaboration with Xiaojuan Guo, PhD, and Hongmei Wu, PhD, from Wenzhou Medical College

Location: China
Department: Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Chronic exposure to inorganic arsenic (iAs), a known human carcinogen with a ubiquitous distribution in the natural environment, currently affects more than 100 million people worldwide. In collaboration with colleagues in China, Ren is working on several projects to understand adverse health effects related to arsenic exposure such as skin lesions and various cancers. The study field is located in Hetao Plain in Inner Mongolia, China, an area where the drinking water is highly contaminated by arsenic.

The first study aims to determine whether folic acid supplementation can be used as a preventive measure in arsenic-endemic regions. The team has conducted a double-blind placebo-controlled folate intervention trial among people who had arsenic exposure through drinking water in Hetao Plain.

The second proposed study will determine if a causal association of iAs exposure, obesity and diabetes exists. The goal will be to elucidate the role of the environmental factors, i.e., arsenic exposure, in the pathogenesis of obesity and diabetes, and to provide critical information needed to prevent the obesity and diabetes epidemic worldwide.

The third study will be based on the fact that both theoretical and laboratory evidence supports that iAs can alter DNA methylation, and thus deregulate gene expression. This has been suggested to play a major role in arsenic-induced toxicity and carcinogenesis. Recent animal studies indicate that environmentally induced epigenetic alterations can be inherited across generations while evidence of epigenetic inheritance in humans is currently lacking. The team will investigate the effects of arsenic exposure in altering DNA methylation and its subsequent effect in changing gene expression. They will aim to determine whether these alterations can be inherited, and whether they are associated with arsenic-induced adverse health effects. The unique study population—three generations of families—will provide valuable information for helping to identify at-risk individuals exposed to arsenic. It may also provide new targets for preventive and therapeutic interventions.

Photo by Anne Weaver

Organotin Stabilizers in Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) Plastic Products and Their Toxic Effects

Xuefeng Ren, MD, PhD
In collaboration with Xiaojiang Tang, Guangdong Medical Laboratory Animal Center and Guangdong Prevention and Treatment Center for Occupational Diseases, Guangzhou, Guangdong, China

Location: China
Department: Epidemiology and Environmental Health

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic products are commonplace in every industry and in everyday life.  Many chemical additives, including Organotins (OTs), are not completely bound to the plastic and can be leached from the PVC water supply pipe or product into drinking water or the air. From there, the chemicals can enter various ecosystems. The elevated OTs’ exposure in drinking water and indoor air constitutes a health concern because many OTs are potential human nervous system, developmental or reproductive toxicants.

Ren and Tang’s proposed research to conduct molecular epidemiological studies will further explore the impact of OTs’ exposure on human health, particularly changes in human behaviors and damage to kidneys and the liver. The team expects the refined information to lead to improved risk assessments of OTs and PVC use, and, ultimately, to have a positive impact on PVC regulation and to improve public health.