This summer I will be travelling to India for three months to complete a project on the topic of the sugar-sweetened beverage tax at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad. The World Health Organization has recently endorsed the implementation of a sugar-sweetened beverage tax to address rising rates of obesity and type 2 diabetes globally. As a country, India has the largest number of people with type 2 diabetes. Despite a high burden of disease, a sugar-sweetened beverage tax has not been implemented. The perceptions and potential acceptance of such a tax are likely shaped through media and the messaging distilled through print and online reports. I will be conducting a media analysis of the sugar sweetened beverage tax in India to explore the discourse and issues surrounding a potential tax in that country.
Valdine Flaming is a Manitoba Metis from Thompson, Manitoba. She works at University College of the North when she’s not pursuing a graduate degree in Disability Studies at the University of Manitoba. Valdine will be using her scholarship to join the team at Whakauae Research for Maori Health and Development in Whanganui, New Zealand as they complete the ‘Preventing Chronic Conditions’ project with Maori people.
Whakauae conducts research for Maori public health, health services and policy in partnership with health and academic institutions and is unique in that its research is accountable to Te Rūnanga o Ngāti Hauiti which has a mandate to ensure ‘The Enhancement and Preservation of Hauititanga’.
Whakauae’s team of experienced indigenous researchers have tasked Valdine with examining indigenous chronic disease prevention practices in both Canada and New Zealand including the similarities and differences of various models. Of particular interest to Valdine is the Kaupapa Māori qualitative research methodologies used by Whakauae and how her time in New Zealand as a community based and indigenous qualitative researcher can inform her master’s thesis research in northern Manitoba.
Through the travel opportunity provided by the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Scholarship, I will be working for the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB), organized through a partnership with the Center for Engaged Learning Abroad, in Belize City, Belize. HECOPAB is the health promotion department of the Ministry of Health with responsibility to plan, coordinate and implement health promotion programs, projects, interventions and activities throughout Belize. This project will utilize both quantitative and community-based qualitative research methods, with the main objectives of building upon inter-organizational relationships, and assessing the effectiveness of health information promotion though the Health Education and Community Participation Bureau (HECOPAB). At home, I am pursuing a MSc through the department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba.
Andrew Samuel is a twenty year old student who has passions for fitness, travel, extracurricular activities, and healthcare. Originally born in Cairo, but grew up in Dubai and Winnipeg, Andrew loves meeting new people and learning from every experience that comes his way. Additionally, Andrew aspires to be a future ophthalmologist and author with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF). Moreover, as a Queen Elizabeth Scholar, Andrew will be travelling to Cape Town, South Africa for three months to help conduct a surgical training unit on Small Incision Cataract Surgery (SICS) and Trabeculectomy at the University of Cape Town Groote Schuur Hospital. Accordingly, Andrew will be involved in the development of educational resources, capturing qualitative and quantitative research data, and in literature searches and reviews. Overall, Andrew is excited to contribute to research and field work aimed at diminishing preventable blindness throughout Africa, while having the privilege to engage with leaders in healthcare. He is genuinely thankful and believes the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee scholarship has offered him a life-changing opportunity that he promises to share with his peers. To follow Andrew along his journey, checkout his blog (https://medium.com/@meddiaries).
The purpose of scholarship is to explore the acceptability and perceptions of a SSB tax among Indian individuals who self-identify as consumers of sugary drinks.
I will utilize a qualitative research design and conduct semi-structured interviews at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad in Karnataka, India. I will also complete key informant interviews over the phone with Indian public health officials to provide additional context as to the considerations regarding the implementation of a SSB tax in India.
Sophie Fiola, Undergraduate Science student, University of Nairobi, Supervisor: Dr. Elijah Songok, project title: Factors affecting adherence to antiretroviral medication in adolescents living with HIV in Nairobi, Kenya.
Jessica MacLean, Occupational Therapy Field Placement, Amar Seva Sangam, India
Kenneth Omollo, University of Nairobi, Supervisor: Dr. Keith Fowke, Dept of Medical Microbiology, project title: Hormonal contraception and HIV infection
Lucy Mwangi, University of Nairobi, Supervisor: Dr. Keith Fowke, Dept of Medical Microbiology, project title: Anti-inflammatory drugs to prevent HIV-1 infection