GHS Certificate Students Report on their GH Projects

GHS Certificate Student with PrEP Team
                              PrEP demand creation team 

Lindsey Cobb, Global Health Studies Certificate Student, 2019 Internship in South Africa

July 2019

Hi everyone! My name is Lindsay Cobb, and I will be a junior at the University of Iowa this fall, studying Human Physiology and getting a certificate in Global Health Studies. To complete my certificate and get a worthwhile global experience, I am currently interning in Cape Town, South Africa, through IES Abroad. IES helped set me up with an internship at TB HIV Care, a non-profit company that supports primary health care services to prevent, find, and treat tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

PrEP Team at Hout Bay
                   PrEP demand creation team in Hout Bay

I am interning in the HIV prevention program of TB HIV Care, specifically on PrEP services. PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) is a daily pill that greatly reduces the risk of contracting the virus for HIV-negative people. There are different populations in South Africa that are most vulnerable to contracting HIV, including adolescent girls and young women, who are the focus of my work. There are many sites, including the mobile clinics shown above, around Cape Town and the rest of South Africa that are working to rollout PrEP to young women.

The project that I am working on, along with my supervisor John and fellow intern Sunnie, aims to build the capacity of young women who are already taking PrEP to become vocal advocates among their peers about HIV prevention and PrEP. We are currently designing this Champion training program with hopes that it will be used at other PrEP sites around the country if it is successful in Cape Town.

Outside of this project, I have also been fortunate to see some of the other work that TB HIV Care does around Cape Town. The pictures below show a day of demand creation in Hout Bay where a new site is opening to introduce PrEP into the community. Demand creation includes setting up a table with flyers, talking to people about HIV prevention, and going on a motorcade around the neighborhood.

GHS Certificate Student with Elephant
                My new friend, Thandi

Outside of the internship, IES also arranges field trips around South Africa for us interns. One of the trips was along the Garden Route, a scenic drive along the southern coast. Some highlights of this trip include visiting the beautiful Tsitsikamma National Park, canoeing down the Touw River, and visiting an elephant sanctuary. Beyond the scheduled trips, there is so much to do in Cape Town, especially hiking. Many of us interns hiked Lion’s Head Peak the first weekend after we arrived. While I may not be suited for the “Three Peak Challenge”--hiking all three major peaks in the same day--I am excited to continue exploring during my final month here.       

Lion's Head Mountain
                       At the Peak of Lion's Head Mountain

I am so thankful for this opportunity to grow both personally and professionally while also completing my global health project. I cannot wait to see what these next few weeks at TB HIV Care and in Cape Town bring.        


Iowa students visit Hills
Iowa Students visit Chamundi Hills

Taylor Digmann, Global Heatlh Studies Certificate Student, Summer 2019 Internship in India  

June 14, 2019

Hello to all! I am Taylor Digmann, a senior at the University of Iowa studying finance and global health studies. It has officially been one week since all four of us arrived for our eight-week long internship through Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement (SVYM) in Mysuru, India. All four of us (Meghan, Emma, Cassie, and myself) are very excited to experience, learn, and grow through out these eight weeks. This last week was full of classes, learning what teatime is, trying new foods, wearing a new dress, trying to defeat jet lag, acclimating to the heat, and having all sorts of field visits. I am going to start things off by highlighting some of my favorite experiences so far.

Mysore Palace at Night
Mysuru Palace Illuminated at Night​​​​​


Our first visit was to Mysuru Palace, where the royal family is living. We had a tour guide with us who told us about the history and architecture of the palace… Right after the palace we decided against the 1,000 steps up the mountain and instead took a drive to Chamundi Hills, a temple in Mysuru…Another area that we visited that I found very interesting was the tribal school, Viveka Tribal Center for Learning (VTCL), which is located in Hosahalli. We were given a tour to see all the facilities they currently have including classrooms where around 400 tribal students go to school.


Saree Store
Saree Store

To finish off the week, Emma and Cassie were dropped off in Saragur which is where their projects are stationed. We were able to get a tour of the area and learn about their amazing science park which made us all feel like a kid again.    

Today marks Wednesday, June 12th which means we have all begun our projects. My project focuses on looking at the impact of vocational training (tailoring, jewelry making, automobile training, etc.) in seven under-resourced urban neighborhoods in Mysuru. I wish everyone the best on their projects and am looking forward to our next seven weeks here in Incredible India.