NSF PIRE: Energy Poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa

The Energy Poverty PIRE in Southern Africa (EPPSA) is a 5-year program funded by the National Science Foundation’s Partnerships in International Research and Education (PIRE) program. PIRE is focused on evaluating the real-world impacts of energy poverty, investigating the spatial and social components of energy poverty in order to determine the optimal scale of interventions, and training future researchers in collaboration in low-resource settings.

Incorporating geographic context into randomized controlled trials: RTS,S malaria and the oral cholera vaccines

Efficacy of the RTS,S malaria vaccine in different environments is still under evaluation and will be essential for any future development of further malaria vaccination or usage in conjunction with other treatment plans. This project is focused on investigating the ecological and behavioral factors that may influence vaccine efficacy at three RTS,S trial sites in Malawi, Ghana, and Gabon, as well as extending investigation on a  1985 data set regarding the efficacy of the oral cholera vaccine in Bangladesh.

Finding Safe Drinking Water to Mitigate Arsenic Contamination: Tube Wells, Storage, and Diarrhea

In an effort to reduce diarrheal disease incidence, public health efforts during the past 30 years in Bangladesh have led to an almost universal shift from the consumption of surface water to groundwater from the shallow aquifer (<140 feet deep).The objectives of this study are to: (1) determine if deep tube wells protect against diarrheal diseases compared to shallow tube wells, (2) compare the microbial water quality of deep and shallow tube well sources and from household storage containers with water from those wells, and (3) determine if longer travel distance and time to deep tube wells leads to longer duration of water storage, poor water quality in storage containers, and higher diarrheal disease incidence. A household survey will determine water source, use, storage, hygiene, and sanitation practices.

Malaria and HIV Disease Surveillance Using Molecular and Geographic Methods in the Congo

Infectious diseases are still the leading cause of disability and death in developing countries, including the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Moving forward with research in the DRC using the 2013/14 DHS, additional investigation is being done into gametocytemia and landscape genetics, with the results of this research slated to be shared with the DRC Ministry of Health to help guide control programs.