Internship/Qualitative field research opportunity in Mali

Dates:

• Spring 2013 (now) to participate in study design and logistics
• June – December 2013 for fieldwork (some flexibility)

Background:

Malaria is one of the most important contributors to morbidity and mortality in Mali. In 2009, the national health information system reported 1.6 million clinical (unconfirmed) cases of malaria accounting for 38% of all outpatient visits, and an estimated 62% of deaths. Most malaria-related deaths occur in children under 5 years of age. However, malaria in pregnancy (MIP) is also a serious public health problem associated with preterm birth, maternal and neonatal anemia, and increased risk of both maternal and neonatal death. Intermittent preventive treatment of malaria in pregnancy (IPTp) is a key strategy for reducing the malaria related burden of disease among pregnant women and neonates. Mali’s national malaria prevention strategy calls for all pregnant women to receive at least two doses of sulfadoxine pyrimethamine (SP) as IPTp as part of antenatal care (ANC). Despite a relatively high rate of ANC attendance (72% of women have at least one visit; 63% receive at least two), IPTp uptake remains low. The objective of this study is to better understand the reasons why more women do not receive at least two doses of IPTp as a first step towards increasing that uptake. The study is a qualitative ethnographic assessment of factors influencing women’s careseeking during pregnancy as well as a review of health system factors (e.g., logistics, supply-chain management, health worker commitment to IPTp) that may contribute to low rates of IPTp uptake. The study will take place in Mali’s Sikasso and Koulikoro Regions in the southern part of the country. The study is being carried out in collaboration with the Human Ecology, Anthropology, and Bioethics Department of the University of Bamako.

The successful candidate for this position will have the opportunity to join and play a key role in an experienced team of US-based and Malian researchers as well as to serve as a co-author on peer-reviewed publications resulting from the study.

Scope of Work:

Spring 2013
• Assist with finalization of protocol and study instruments
• Assist with submission to the Hopkins School of Public Health IRB

Summer/Fall/Winter 2013
• Participate in training of Mali-based field team
• Assist with coordination of data collection (interviews with health officials, health workers, community leaders, and pregnant women and their families)
• Help develop and oversee systems for management of qualitative data (translation, transcription, storage)
• Participate in data qualitative analysis as well as writing and publication of study findings including co-authorship of peer-reviewed journal articles.

Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have some combination (though not necessarily all) of the following characteristics:
• Qualitative research training and/or experience, particularly with in-depth interviewing
• Previous experience living and working in Africa
• Fluency in French
• Willingness to spend 4-6 months in Mali during summer and fall 2013
• We would love it if you have some knowledge of Bambara, but it is not a requirement!

Please respond with a brief (no more than 1 page) note explaining your interest and a copy of your CV or resume to IPTp.Mali@gmail.com