Jamie Lim is the executive assistant at Nyaya Health.
Over the past few months, Nyaya Health has held the first and second of what will become regular, monthly “Implementation Science Meetings” with the Boston area-based research and advocacy team. The point of these meetings is to present and discuss the different projects and initiatives that the research and advocacy wings of Nyaya Health is undertaking, in order to foster a sense of cohesiveness and a broader perspective among the various team members, who range from attending and resident physicians to public health scholars, medical students and undergraduates.
The first meeting started off with Nyaya Health co-founder Duncan Maru introducing the idea of entropy as a reason for the constant need for effective research and implementation strategies. The task of our generation of activists, scientists, and managers, he said, is to deliver what we know works, to society’s most vulnerable and marginalized communities. This was the launching point into a discussion about certain cycles witnessed in global health delivery, and an overview of Nyaya Health’s Implementation Science agenda. The slides used in the meeting, which was more generally an introduction to the concept and goals of implementation science, can be found here.
The second meeting, held in early December, was centered on a more in-depth discussion of Nyaya Health’s current projects. The main topic here was health-post strengthening in Far-Western Nepal, which was split up into four components: mobile health, community health workers, social accountability, and quality improvement. Discussion revealed that the first two, mobile health and community health, would be better viewed as strategies to achieve the latter two; still, there was a need to more clearly define these categories for grant application purposes. The slides used during this discussion can be found here.
This meeting was concluded by a brief presentation by co-founder Jason Andrews on electricity-free typhoid diagnostics, something there is a serious need for in Nepal due to the growing number of patients receiving unnecessary antibiotics for unconfirmed illnesses. The diagnostic, based on using packs of a liquid with a melting temperature right around a necessary incubation temperature, was tested in Kathmandu, and primary data showed promising results supporting this as an accurate and cost-effective method for diagnosing typhoid. Next steps on this front include getting other hospitals and clinics involved in further studies, and finding out how to make it available for outpatients in Achham.
We hope that these meetings will continue to bring team members together, and bring to light some of our efforts in implementing the findings of our research to directly help patients in Nepal and elsewhere.