Shekinah Nefreteri Elmore, MPH is a student Harvard Medical School. Since 2010, she has worked with community-based, integrated palliative care initiatives in Neno, Malawi with the Ministry of Health and Partners in Health/Abwenzi Pa Za Umoyo. Additionally, she spent the last year as a Fulbright Scholar at the Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence in northern Rwanda, in part working with the Ministry of Health to strengthen national palliative care delivery systems. Prior to medical school, she worked on social support initiatives for patients with HIV in Rwanda and Mozambique, and has extensive work experience in health systems across East Africa.
Project: "Making Palliative Care Accessible by the Global Poor: Learning from the Best Models of Palliative Care in Resource-Limited Settings to Refine and Expand a District Palliative Care Networks in Rwanda"
February 1, 2015 - May 15, 2015
Butaro, Northern Province, Rwanda and Kigali, Central Province, Rwanda
What does the Kean Fellowship mean to you?
I couldn't be more honored or more pleased to receive the Kean Fellowship. For me, it means being able to return to Rwanda after investing a year there as a researcher. It means being able to extend my project on palliative care, starting a new phase in a way that I wouldn't have been able to without the Fellowship.
What do you anticipate learning?
I hope to learn more about how global oncology and global palliative care can integrate into existing Tropical Medicine efforts. The existing research base in Tropical Medicine will be extremely helpful for the burgeoning sub-field of global oncology. Further, the Kean Fellowship will allow me to continue to build research and project development skills that I will use in my career as a global health physician and researcher.
What interests you about tropical medicine and what problems are you interested in solving?
Most physicians would still likely associate Tropical Medicine exclusively with the problem of infectious disease. Yet, the burden of diseases that span the chronic and non-communicable is growing. In particular, the burden of cancer is very significant in low and middle income countries, often without well-developed health systems to handle this burden. I'm most interested in working to support cancer care systems, from the preventive to the curative to the palliative, in low-resource settings that build on the prior successes of Tropical Medicine efforts.