In the spirit of scientific citizenship and international collaboration, Monday May 28th saw SANTHE hosting a visit from 15 medical students from Marist College, New York, to the programme's lead site - the Africa Health Research Institute (AHRI) - in Durban, South Africa.
Professor Amy Cahill, who is running the Marist “study abroad programme” in South Africa, aims to get her students to experience different areas of the health sector with a focus on infectious diseases. Their plan is to visit hospitals and clinics in both rural and urban settings, as well as researchers and traditional healers, among others.
At AHRI, the students were treated to a tour of the institute and then enjoyed an informal discussion with SANTHE Durban-based trainees on their various research projects. On the 29th of May, SANTHE facilitated a visit to Edendale Public Hospital, as well as the office of Integration of TB in Education and Care for HIV/AIDS (iTEACH), and learned first-hand how iTEACH engages people living with HIV, traditional healers and community members to work as front line “warriors” to increase uptake of HIV testing and TB screening at the initial point of contact in the hospital system. They also enjoyed a visit to a rural settlement to meet with a group of traditional healers for a traditional ceremony and lunch.
SANTHE is also facilitating a visit to AHRI's rural Somkhele site on Thursday 31 May. Here the students will take a tour of the Africa Centre building, including the research data centre and community engagement offices. They will then hear some personal descriptions from scientists of some of the studies at the site.