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Jul 12 2012

NYIT Center for Global Health Returns from Ghana with New Perspectives

NYIT Center for Global Health Returns from Ghana with New Perspectives

Old Westbury, N.Y. (July  12, 2012) — A broader perspective on the state of international healthcare systems accompanied an interdisciplinary delegation from the NYIT Center for Global Health on its return from the center’s annual mission to Ghana.

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“We saw differences in the healthcare worker-patient relationship, and we got to see some things that we won’t have a chance to see here in the U.S. from disease standpoint– diseases like schistosomiasis and malaria,” said academic medical scholar Jonathan Giordano. “You could see with your own two eyes and reinforce those ideas that we learned in the global health course we took last spring—how a lack of infrastructure affects them on a daily basis, and not just from a medical standpoint.”

Students from the university’s College of Osteopathic Medicine and School of Health Professions accompanied medical residents, physicians, faculty, and celebrity chef Jeff Henderson to villages surrounding Oworobong, Ghana on the center’s three-week mission. While this year’s group built on the bed net promotion initiatives of previous delegations, their primary focus lay in better understanding national nutrition standards in Ghana.

Henderson participated by teaching students at the local St. Joseph’s cooking school best practices in sanitation and hygiene, with an emphasis on avoiding cross-contamination in the kitchen. The rest of the delegation researched eating habits and promoted better nutrition for Ghanaian children.

“Food intake was more diverse than we expected— for example there is a lot more snacking, and they snack on fruits,” said professor Deborah Lardner, D.O., explaining that students conducted 412 dietary surveys on children aged 5-12 across three villages with varying access to food markets. “However, we still project that the outcomes of the study may demonstrate vitamin deficiencies among the population, which could influence the government’s approach to addressing malnutrition.”

Dedicated to giving back to the community of Oworobong, the team provided medical care at a clinic established by Center partner the Rohde Foundation and shadowed healthcare workers at Hawa Saviour Memorial Hospital.

“We saw a lot of malaria and some cases of suspected typhoid, upper respiratory infections, and complications from HIV,” added professor Michael Passafaro, D.O., who also found time to catch up with a toddler he had delivered on a mission three years ago.

Jasmine Beria, another academic medical scholar, reflected on the impact of the group’s performance of a puppet show developed by last year’s students to promote the use of bed nets, and this year’s distribution of picture booklets based on the puppet show.

“The books- you’d see kids coming down the street dressed in their uniforms on their way to school with their eyes down, carrying our books in their hands, smiling and reading as they go,” she said.

Doctors and students from the Center for Global Health are also traveling to El Salvador and Haiti this summer.

About NYIT

New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) offers 90 degree programs, including undergraduate, graduate, and professional degrees, in more than 50 fields of study, including architecture and design; arts and sciences; education; engineering and computing sciences; health professions; management; and osteopathic medicine. A non-profit independent, private institution of higher education, NYIT has 14,000 students attending campuses on Long Island and Manhattan, online, and at its global campuses. NYIT sponsors 11 NCAA Division II programs and one Division I team.
Led by President Edward Guiliano, NYIT is guided by its mission to provide career-oriented professional education, offer access to opportunity to all qualified students, and support applications-oriented research that benefits the larger world. To date, more than 92,000 graduates have received degrees from NYIT. For more information, visit


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