Our objective for this global grant is to work with Rotary International to provide an exceptional global public health research training opportunity for Betânia Nogueira, to equip her with research skills to reduce the burden of HIV/TB and substance use among Brazilians. Brazil has the highest number of persons infected with HIV in Latin America, and the co-occurring conditions of TB and substance use exacerbate challenges to curb the epidemic. By mentoring Betânia, who is in her 2nd year of our M.P.H. program (Epidemiology), we will also be able to build a stronger global public health collaboration with clinicians and researchers in Brazil to prepare the next generation of global public health practitioners to reduce the burden of HIV/TB/substance use in their home country. Specifically, this scholarship will provide support for the second year of graduate studies in the field of Public Health. The scholar will spend the spring and summer semesters studying at San Diego State University. The scholar will also be involved in the newly established Brazil Program at San Diego State University which seeks to become a national leader in Brazilian Studies.
The scholar will utilize the education she receives through the Public Health graduate program at San Diego State University to benefit policy, decision-making, and medical delivery through Brazil's Unified Health System and in South America throughout her career. Therefore, the experience gained through this scholarship will significantly affect health policy in Brazil, benefiting the entire nation, as well as South America. Our training plan for Betânia includes participation in the development of public health research projects focusing on reducing the burden of HIV/TB/substance use in Brazil. This work will be accomplished through collaboration with San Diego State University and FIOCRUZ, which is one of the most prominent research institutes in Brazil. The strengthening of this collaboration will certainly result in sustainable projects that will directly benefit the Brazilian population, but also generate knowledge to be applied in other countries with similar realities.