African Health

Edan Adan Ismail and Nafisa Bedri, Ph.D., of Ahfad University for Women in Sudan, who works on eradicating female circumcision and on community health in Sudan

Photographer: John Sattler

African Health Conference

From left, Alyson Young, Ph.D., University of Florida; Aggrey Otieno, Pambazuko Mashianani, Nairobi, Kenya, and an OHIO alumnus; conference co-chair Steve Howard, Ph.D.; Edan Adan Ismail; Nafisa Bedri, Ph.D.; Bose Maposa, assistant director of African S

Photographer: John Sattler

African Health Alicia Aikens

Alicia Aikens, an Ohio University graduate student in Communication and Development Studies, presents her research topic, “Infographics and Health Communications: Alternative Applications for Date Presentations.”

Photographer: John Sattler

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African women and children's health issues discussed at conference

Edna Adan and several other well-known scholar-activists in the fields promoting women and children's health across the African continent participated in the "Women and Children's Health in Africa: clinical and social perspectives" last weekend.

Adan, who was featured in the recent PBS documentary on women's global health, "Half the Sky," served as the keynote speaker. She is a former first lady of Somalia and also has served as the first minister of foreign affairs, minister of health of the Republic of Somaliland. She is a nurse dedicated to eliminating the custom of female circumcision in her Horn of Africa region, which contributes to many maternal health problems.

"We sent word out to a number of prominent activists and scholars in the fields of women and children's health and were excited to learn that so many of them could come to our campus at once. This was a great opportunity for our students and the public to hear from people who are working to change Africa's health challenges and to have them talk to each other," said African Studies director and conference co-convenor Steve Howard.

Conference participants included Dr. Nafisa Bedri of Afhad University for Women in Sudan, who also works on eradicating female circumcision and on community health in Sudan.

Other speakers were recent Rolex Award winner and OHIO alumnus, Aggrey Otieno, who has founded a maternal health telemedicine center in one of Nairobi's most notorious slums, and Dr. Marape Marape, a physician and leading AIDS researcher who heads the Research Division at the Botswana Baylor Children's AIDS clinic in Gaborone, Botswana.

U.S. scholars who participated included Dr. Crystal Patil, University of Illinois, Dr. Ivy Pike, University of Arizona and Dr. Alyson Young, University of Florida. They also hosted discussions African women and children's public health issues during the conference.

"Women and children in Africa suffer a disproportionate amount of the global burden of disease.

This conference was particularly exciting because it brought together both researchers and change leaders in the field of women and children's health. Through this interaction, we stimulated evidence based and creative solutions for improving health for women and children in Africa," said conference co-convenor Gillian Ice, director of Global Health for the Health Sciences Center.

The conference was sponsored by OHIO's College of Health Sciences and Professions, the Institute for the African Child and the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine.