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LEAD Fellow Spotlight - Carmen Contreras, 2020 CohortIn an effort to equip and empower more leaders in global health, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers a transformational fellowship specifically designed to promote leadership skills in individuals from low- and middle-income countries who will, in turn, mentor future female leaders in global health.
Carmen Contreras is a public health professional with over 25 years of experience in the field. Contreras has a graduate degree in psychology, with qualifications in Adolescent Health and Sexual and Reproductive Health, and a Masters degree in public health. Contreras began her career by working with families of hospitalized minors with adolescent mothers. She then moved into work that supported research on drug use/abuse prevention in adolescents, domestic abuse prevention, and the development of educational mental health materials with the Department of Health. For 17 years, Contreras has been employed at Socios En Salud (SES), Partners In Health, Peru. At Socios En Salud, Contreras coordinates diverse research projects on the understanding and improvement of tuberculosis (TB) affected populations, community health, and mental health. Between 2013 and 2016, Contreras was part of the SES Community Advisory Board, a group made up of community representatives that discussed and proposed recommendations to different TB protocols in Peru. From 2014 to 2017, Contreras was a member of the Community Research Advisors Group (CRAG) of the Tuberculosis Trials Consortium (TBTC) housed at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CRAG is an advisory group consisting of representatives from five continents, established to increase the value and impact of TB research and interventions to bring greater benefit to affected communities.
Watch Carmen’s reflections on the LEAD Fellowship and her advice to future Fellows and applicants in her Spotlight Interview here.
LEAD Fellow Spotlight - Cynthia Mambo, 2020 CohortIn an effort to equip and empower more leaders in global health, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the Women and Health Initiative at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health offers a transformational fellowship specifically designed to promote leadership skills in individuals from low- and middle-income countries who will, in turn, mentor future female leaders in global health.
Cynthia Mambo is a public health professional with over 15 years of experience implementing and managing programs for HIV/AIDS, nutrition, sexual reproductive health, and orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Malawi, South Africa, and Zimbabwe. Mambo is the Deputy Coordinator & Senior Program Advisor for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) program at the U.S Embassy in Malawi. Mambo is currently focused on supporting Malawi’s epidemic control trajectory and continues to use her experience in epidemiology, coordination, and relationship building with governmental, bilateral and multi-sectoral counterparts (Malawi government, Ministry of Health, U.S. government), and civil society organizations), to sustain achievements in the HIV response. As the world grapples with how to best address global pandemics such as COVID-19, the gains made over the years to eradicate HIV and achieve epidemic can be lost. In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, Mambo’s goal is to actively participate in local initiatives that aim to mitigate the impact of HIV on vulnerable populations like adolescent girls and young women (AGYW). She works to ensure that resources mobilized for the response are efficiently used and address gaps highlighted by the faith and civil society communities.
Watch Cynthia’s reflections on the LEAD Fellowship and her advice to future Fellows and applicants in her Spotlight Interview here.
A Perpetual Crisis: Reflections on Renewed Public Health Failures at the U.S./Mexico BorderIn March 2021, a record number of children arrived at the U.S./Mexico border, challenging capacity at U.S. Customs and Border Protection facilities and placing newfound pressure on the Biden Administration to act promptly. However, this humanitarian crisis is not new. For decades, the U.S. has failed to improve a system ill-equipped to handle the needs of vulnerable refugees and migrants. As children await in overcrowded jail-like centers and COVID-19 remains an imminent threat to the health of migrants, concerns about who will continue to suffer at the border, and for how long, require urgent consideration.
On May 13th, 2021, the Harvard Global Health Institute and the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights hosted an intimate discussion on this pressing issue. This conversation built off of our three previous events and report that examined the public health crisis at the U.S./Mexico border. Given the historical patterns of inaction from the U.S. and Mexico governments as well as the evolving humanitarian crisis, expert panelists critically evaluated current challenges and addressed necessary steps for establishing humane border policies.
Decarceration as a Public Health Strategy: Stopping the Spread of COVID-19The second event in our series will consider prison depopulation or decarceration in response to the threat of COVID-19 in places of incarceration. In response to the growing number of COVID-19 outbreaks in these facilities, public health experts, civil rights attorneys, and advocacy groups have made urgent appeals for decarceration. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, prison decongestion measures have been adopted in over 100 countries worldwide. However, decarceration and prison depopulation isn’t straightforward. It raises a host of questions and challenges around issues such as recidivism, racial equity, and support systems for those reentering society.
To examine these issues, this webinar brought together a diverse panel of researchers, practitioners, and activists to discuss the role of decarceration as a part of the public health response to COVID-19 and examine current decarceration efforts around the world.