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Student named to global END7 advisory board

A photo of David Obadina, a third-year international affairs major, at his co-op at the Kumasi Center for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine in Ghana.

It took just one class for David Obadina to realize his passion.

The North­eastern student’s desire to take an epi­demi­ology class taught by Richard Wamai, an assis­tant pro­fessor in the Depart­ment of African Amer­ican Studies, devel­oped into a deter­mi­na­tion to help erad­i­cate neglected trop­ical dis­eases worldwide.

While taking that class I became even more inter­ested in global and public health par­tic­u­larly the area con­cerning neglected trop­ical dis­eases or NTDs,” said Obadina, SSH’17.

The third-​​year inter­na­tional affairs major will now con­tinue that mis­sion as a member of the 2015–16 END7 stu­dent advi­sory board, which will struc­ture and imple­ment stu­dent engage­ment for the global END7 cam­paign. He is one of only nine stu­dents elected to sit on this year’s stu­dent advi­sory board, which com­prises  rep­re­sen­ta­tives from uni­ver­si­ties across the globe.

The Global Net­work for Neglected Trop­ical Dis­eases and Sabin Vac­cine Insti­tute launched the END7 cam­paign with the goal of erad­i­cating seven neglected trop­ical dis­eases by 2020. According the END7 web­site, neglected trop­ical dis­eases are the most common dis­eases among the world’s poor pop­u­la­tion, affecting more than 500 mil­lion chil­dren in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

These dis­eases are extremely preva­lent in low and middle income coun­tries,” Obadina explained. “They keep people from working, from going to school, they can lead to mal­nu­tri­tion, and they have a detri­mental affect on maternal and child health.”

As a member of the advi­sory board, Obadina will con­tribute to the main objec­tives of END7, which include fundraising, advo­cacy and edu­cating the public.

The stu­dent leaders on this board will be able to give their ideas directly to the orga­ni­za­tion,” Obadina said. “They will be the link between the orga­ni­za­tion and stu­dent groups.”

Fundraising, he noted, is an impor­tant part of the END7 mis­sion. While the treat­ments are free, trans­porting the treat­ments to patients is not. END7 stu­dent groups on col­lege cam­puses raised about $43,000 in 2014, according to Obadina, who sits on the exec­u­tive board of the North­eastern Uni­ver­sityEND7 stu­dent organization.

Fourth year psy­chology major Nina Granow, was selected to be part of END7’s Stu­dent Lead­er­ship Council, a larger group of stu­dent leaders from around the world. She also serves on North­eastern group’s END7 exec­u­tive board.

A photo of the END7 at North­eastern e-​​board for 2015–16 The END7 at North­eastern e-​​board for 2015–16. Con­tributed photo

Con­tin­uing his pas­sion on co-​​op

After taking Wamai’s class, Obadina worked on co-​​op in Kumasi, Ghana, at the Kumasi Center for Col­lab­o­ra­tive Research in Trop­ical Med­i­cine, where he saw first­hand the impacts of the dis­eases he learned about in the class. As a research assis­tant, Obadina helped col­lect and ana­lyze blood sam­ples from people with neglected trop­ical dis­eases, specif­i­cally lym­phatic filar­i­asis and onchocer­ci­asis, in order to deter­mine which drugs best attack the parasites.

Obadina is cur­rently on co-​​op at the Insti­tute of Health­care Improve­ment in Cam­bridge, working with the African region team on sev­eral projects to improve health­care across the con­ti­nent. And he will con­tinue to raise aware­ness both on campus and abroad about neglected trop­ical diseases.

We are hoping we can have a wider influ­ence now,” he said. “There are so many aspects of these dis­eases that are affecting everyday life for people across the globe. Ending any of these dis­eases will be a step for­ward in lifting people out of poverty.”

Published On: August 5, 2015 | Tags: ,,,
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