Global WACh

Gut Health and Child Survival


May 21, 2021

New Community of Practice supports Neglected Tropical Diseases Program Managers in Africa

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Kikundi, meaning “group” in Kiswahili, is a new online platform for NTD African Program Managers to work towards eliminating neglected tropical diseases. The logo is a West African Adinkra symbol signifying togetherness.

The Global WACh Gut Health and Child Survival team, in partnership with the University of Global Health Equity in Rwanda recently launched Kikundi, a Community of Practice (CoP) for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) Program Managers in Africa.  Kikundi is the Kiswahili word for “group,” which fittingly describes this CoP that aims to foster connection among Program Managers, and ultimately help them in achieving national and global NTD elimination benchmarks.
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February 25, 2021

DeWorm3 Study to interrupt transmission of parasitic worms moves to UW Global WACh

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Global WACh is pleased to announce we are now hosting the DeWorm3 Study, an ongoing community cluster randomized controlled trial.  The study uses a community-wide drug administration approach to determine whether deworming both children and adults can disrupt the transmission of soil-transmitted helminth (STH), or parasitic intestinal worms across multiple geographies including India, Malawi, and Benin.  The study is led by Principal Investigator Dr. Judd Walson (Global WACh’s Co-Director and Professor of Global Health, Medicine, Pediatrics, and Epidemiology), in collaboration with teams in India, Malawi, Benin, and London. (more…)


November 30, 2020

Global WACh welcomes new staff members

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Despite working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, our researchers continue to lead innovative studies with local and international partners to improve woman, adolescent, and child health, and to our delight, even receive funding to launch new studies!  We are pleased to introduce the newest members to join the Global WACh team.  Meet them below and click on their names to read their full profiles! (more…)


November 24, 2020

Gut Health and Child Survival researchers present findings at virtual infectious diseases conferences

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This month, researchers and collaborators from Global WACh’s Gut Health and Child Survival scientific priority area participated in two annual conferences virtually to share their latest research activities and discoveries related to pediatric infectious diseases and neglected tropical diseases.

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August 3, 2020

Newly launched COVID MITS study aims to improve understanding of COVID-19 immunopathogenesis in Malawi

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Dr. Donna Denno, Professor

Sarah Lawrence, Research Coordinator

Dr. Donna Denno, Professor of Pediatrics and Global Health and the Associate Director of Pediatrics for Global WACh, is a co-investigator of a new study funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launching in August 2020.  The study titled “MITS for lung pathology and immune response in fatal COVID-19 in Malawi (MITS COVID)” is a one-year project conducted in collaboration with the University of Glasgow, University of Malawi College of Medicine, University of Amsterdam, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, Blantyre Malaria Project, and University of Manchester.  Global WACh Research Coordinator, Sarah Lawrence, will also support this investigatory effort.  Building upon the platform established in the Minimally Invasive Tissue Sampling (MITS) in Malawi study (Co-PI: Denno), the team will address knowledge gaps on immune responses against COVID-19 that drive severe diseases in vital organs, particularly in the lung. (more…)


July 29, 2020

Dr. Patty Pavlinac receives NIH R01 grant to explore the roles of enteric pathogens and antimicrobial resistance to improve child health outcomes in SSA

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Children hospitalized with severe illness in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) are at high risk of morbidity and mortality following discharge from hospital, but mechanisms driving this vulnerability are poorly understood and there are no recommended interventions specifically targeting the post-discharge period.  Dr. Patty Pavlinac, Assistant Professor in the Department of Global Health and Co-Director of Global WACh’s Gut Health and Child Survival Priority Area, is the Principal Investigator of a newly awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) R01 grant to explore the mechanisms underlying this risk, including how azithromycin—an antibiotic commonly used to treat pediatric infections—affects children’s health and nutritional outcomes in SSA.  The findings will inform the development of interventions to reduce the risk of death, re-hospitalization, and growth faltering following hospitalizations among this vulnerable group of children.

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July 16, 2020

Dr. Arianna Means awarded NIH grant to develop strategies to improve pediatric treatment guideline adherence at healthcare facilities

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Primary causes of death for children under five include pneumonia and diarrhea, and nearly half of deaths are attributable to undernutrition.  It is estimated that over half of these deaths are preventable with simple, existing, appropriately applied evidence-based interventions, synthesized within pediatric clinical treatment guidelines.  Although health workers in low-and-middle-income countries are trained on pediatric treatment guidelines, adherence to guidelines is often low and there is a need to identify strategies to improve quality of care in settings with the highest burden of preventable child deaths.

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May 18, 2020

View recorded Global WACh research talks at UW

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Over the spring academic quarter at UW, Global WACh investigators and student research assistants shared their work across various presentation platforms across campus.  Research span from assessing environmental enteric dysfunction on child health and survival to evaluating risks of depression among HIV-infected adolescent girls, to improved treatment of TB and HIV co-infections.

Click on the presentation titles below to access the recordings to view and learn more about our research.  A list of upcoming virtual presentations can be found below.

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December 19, 2019

Dr. Carol Levin and health experts call for action to improve global food supply and protect children’s health against the double burden of malnutrition

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In a new Series in The Lancet, Dr. Carol Levin (Health Economist and Associate Professor, Global Health) and experts led by the World Health Organization (WHO) explore how the double burden of malnutrition (DBM), the coexistence of undernutrition and overnutrition, affects a third of low- and middle-income countries.  The four paper Series warns of a global nutrition crisis, with countries struggling with high rates of obesity alongside the long-standing challenge of hunger.  Malnutrition in all its forms can lead to poor health outcomes, including impaired childhood development and diet-related non-communicable diseases. (more…)


December 5, 2019

Researchers present findings at the 2019 American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference

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Last week, researchers from Global WACh’s Gut Health and Child Survival scientific priority area attended the 68th annual American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) Conference in National Harbor, MD.  ASTMH founded in 1903, is the largest international scientific organization of experts dedicated to reducing the worldwide burden of tropical infectious diseases and improving global health.  Experts envision a world free of tropical infectious diseases by generating and sharing scientific evidence, informing health policies and practices, fostering career development, recognizing excellence, and advocating for investment in tropical medicine/global health research.

Left to right: Hannah Atlas (MPH Student and Research Assistant), Dr. Rebecca Brander (Program Officer, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Former Research Assistant), Dr. Christine McGrath (Assistant Professor, Global Health), Stephanie Tornberg-Belanger (PhD Epidemiology Student and Research Assistant)

Our researchers gave six oral presentations and presented six selected poster abstracts.  Topics ranged from childhood diarrhea and enteric diseases to implementation science approaches for mass drug administration to factors of hospitalized-based child mortality.  Scroll below to read each abstract and see photos from the conference. (more…)



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