Skip to main content
Skip to main content

WKU News

WKU Global REACH: WKU professor and students make their mark on a global healthcare crisis

WKU Global REACH: WKU professor and students make their mark on a global healthcare crisis

As a university with international reach, WKU has partnered with a variety of study abroad organizations to make it easier for students as well as faculty to extend their academic experiences beyond the U.S.

Dr. William Mkanta, an associate professor of healthcare administration in the department of public health, helps his students interact with international communities by leading study abroad programs with the Kentucky Institute for International Studies (KIIS). 

Originally from Tanzania, Dr. Mkanta is the director of the KIIS Tanzania and KIIS Zanzibar programs. He works collaboratively with students while abroad to carry out public health related academic programs and research on a variety of topics concerning public health and healthcare administration.

 Dr. Mkanta’s students often choose research topics that revolve around the management of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, one of the leading public health concerns in Africa. In 2014, he worked on a photo project with Trevor Davis, a WKU healthcare administration student from Louisville, KY. Their project was aimed at spreading awareness and understanding of the challenges and service needs of persons living with HIV/AIDS through photos taken by patients themselves. 

Through this photo research, Davis and Mkanta were able to identify and document numerous challenges and needs experienced by the patients. They found that many Tanzanian HIV/AIDS patients lack access to nutrient rich foods that supplement antiretroviral medications.

Antiretroviral therapy, though it does not cure the disease, is the most common and effective treatment of HIV/AIDS symptoms. The medications are proven to help patients gain back necessary weight, given that their diet includes the right nutrients.

In 2015, Dr. Mkanta and Colleen Goodson, a healthcare administration student from Letcher, KY, also studied the impact of nutrition on the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapies in pediatric patients. The data they collected while abroad showed that antiretroviral therapies not only were more successful when nutritional requirements were met, but also patients who were unable to meet nutritional requirements suffered from more severe side effects of the medications.

One of the more recent studies took place during the summer of 2016. A WKU healthcare administration student, Maleah Boisture of Sacramento, KY, worked with Dr. Mkanta to survey a selected group of HIV caregivers over the age of 50. Their data showed that the older adult caregivers face more challenges than younger caregivers. Just over 50 percent of the survey sample felt adequately prepared to give their patients proper care. These results suggest that continued training and education for this group of caregivers is essential and should be designed specifically to address their challenges. Maleah attended the Global Health & Innovation Conference at Yale University April 22-23, 2017 as part of a FUSE grant that also funded her research in Tanzania.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is perhaps one of the most relevant public health concerns in Tanzania. According to the UNAID Gap Report in 2016, 1.4 million Tanzanians were living with HIV and there were around 36,000 AIDs-related deaths.

This epidemic not only affects the health of individuals, it also impacts communities and nations in regions such as sub-Saharan Africa where the disease is concentrated. Many of the most affected nations including Tanzania suffer from stunted economic growth.

Because of this, the collaborative international research efforts of groups like those led by Dr. Mkanta and his students are not only insightful but also essential to spreading global awareness and understanding of the impact of disease.

Dr. Mkanta will lead a new group of 25 students to Tanzania this summer for courses in social work, occupational safety as well as in community health and social engagements through the global health service-learning practicum. The group will depart on June 7 for five weeks of academic and intercultural experiences in Africa.

For more information on KIIS programs, visit www.kiis.org

Categories
All News  Now Viewing Category: All
Media Relations
President Caboni News
CEBS
CHHS News
Gordon Ford College of Business
Ogden News
PCAL
Academic Affairs
WKU Regional Campuses
Glasgow News
Etown & Fort Knox
Owensboro News
Transportation
The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky
The Center for Gifted Studies
Police
Emergency Preparedness
Facilities
Housing & Residence Life
Student Activities and Organizations
Augenstein Alumni Center
Campus Activities Board
The Confucius Institute
Cultural Enhancement Series
DELO News
Department of Music
Department of Theatre & Dance
Development and Alumni Relations
Downing Museum
Downing Student Union
Hardin Planetarium
Health Services
Human Resources News
Instruments of American Excellence
International Student Office
Kinesiology, Recreation & Sport
Library News
Math News
Office of International Programs
Office of Research
Office of Sustainability
Parent's Association
School of Journalism & Broadcasting
Student Financial Assistance
Scholarships Student Financial Assistance
Student Employment
Student Government Association News
Student Research Council
Study Abroad
Van Meter Auditorium
WellU
WKU Educational Leadership Doctoral Program News
WKU Joint Admissions
WKU Parent and Family Weekend
Latest Headlines
WKU College of Health and Human Services Opens Student-Applied Research Center

Western Kentucky University’s College of Health and Human Services (CHHS) will honor the opening of their first student-applied research center, the WKU Center for Environmental and Workplace Health (CEWH).

Loup Langton is Margaret and Cal Turner Professor in Journalism

Loup Langton receives the honor of serving as Turner Professor in Journalism at WKU.

English Department Launches New Curricula

Over the past two years, faculty in the WKU English Department have been creatively rethinking the English curricula to ensure that our programs serve 21st-century English majors well.

Featured Articles
WKU Forensics Team wins debate tournaments at Illinois State

WKU’s Forensics Team divided into three groups and traveled to Lebanon, Illinois; Normal, Illinois; and Jefferson City, Tennessee, to compete in six tournaments Nov. 11-12.

WKU GEO Faculty/Staff/Students Attend Two National Conferences

Students, faculty, and staff from the Center for Human GeoEnvironmental Studies (CHNGES) and Department of Geography & Geology recently attended national conferences in Arkansas and Washington state.

Statue of Rep. Jody Richards unveiled on campus

A bronze statue of longtime WKU supporter and Kentucky State Rep. Jody Richards of Bowling Green was unveiled on WKU’s main campus Monday (Nov. 6) in Jody Richards Hall.

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 5/2/17