Groton Students Tackle Global Health Challenge

Eight Groton students participated in the second annual Harvard Global Health Challenge in early April. Organized by Harvard undergraduates and sponsored by the Harvard Committee on African Studies, each year's Global Health Challenge focuses on a specific topic; this year's competitors proposed solutions to issues related to childhood mortality in Chad.

The students used data from position papers and gained experience identifying a problem, citing relevant challenges, and brainstorming potential solutions, including the inevitable drawbacks of each. The 50 participants represented 12 schools in the New England region, and students were placed in groups with students they had never met. "We learned how to collaborate with peers to solve real-world problems," said Molly Prockop '15.

The intensive day culminated in group presentations that were judged by three Harvard faculty members. The judges and undergraduate facilitators commended the groups for proposing well thought-out, comprehensive, and realistic solutions. Layla Varkey '15 and Isabel Kendall '17 were on the winning team, whose proposal emphasized local education of girls and women, more mindful family planning, and access to female contraceptives. Malik Jabati '15 was a member of the team that placed second, and Ade Osinubi '14 on the team that placed third.