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Improving Family Health in India Focus of Second Global Health Conference at University of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH, May 7, 2010 – Health experts from India will join University of Pittsburgh researchers in Oakland for the second annual global health conference, May 10 to 12, which aims to improve the health of families in rural India. Part of Science Health Allied Research and Education (SHARE) India, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving medical training and care in Hyderabad, the programs they will discuss address high infant and maternal mortality rates in one of the poorest areas of the country.

"More than one-third of India’s 4 million residents lack basic health needs – clean water, adequate nutrition and immunizations,” said Donald S. Burke, M.D., associate vice chancellor for global health, University of Pittsburgh, and dean, Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health. “In Hyderabad, those most often affected by poverty are women and children, with female-headed households making up the poorest of the poor.”

The conference, “Building Research Capacity Through Partnerships and Mentoring,” is sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Center for Global Health and will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, at the University Club, Gold Room.

The meeting’s keynote address, “Global Health in the 21st Century:  A View from the Fogarty International Center,” will be delivered by Roger I. Glass, M.D., Ph.D., director, Fogarty International Center, and associate director of international research, National Institutes of Health, from 12 to 1 p.m., Wednesday, May 12 in 125 Victoria Hall. This address is open to the public.

Other speakers include P.S. Reddy, M.D., professor of cardiology, Pitt’s School of Medicine and founder of SHARE India, and investigators working with SHARE’s programs in India.

Throughout the meeting, experts will give updates on these programs including:

  • Longitudinal Indian Family Health (LIFE) Study – an ongoing project that ultimately will recruit 1,000 women of childbearing age prior to their first pregnancy. The study will follow the women as well as their children from pre-conception through adulthood.
  • Mobility and Independent Living in Elders Study (MILES) – a study of healthy aging that will include 500 rural Indian residents ages 50 and older.
  • MediCiti Institute of Medical Sciences – a teaching medical college located near Hyderabad, founded in 2002.
  • Rural Effective Affordable Comprehensive Healthcare (REACH) Project – a health care delivery system that provides preventive and primary health care to rural Indians.

The Center for Global Health, directed by Joanne L. Russell, M.P.P.M., R.N., C.C.R.C., serves as the unifying framework for global health activities at the University of Pittsburgh. The mission of the center is to effectively address health issues that affect populations around the globe through programs that support and expand multidisciplinary collaborations in the areas of research, scholarship, service and policy.

Reporters interested in attending the conference should contact Clare Collins at (412) 648-9725.

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