Speakers

YYAS 2017 included the following lectures by Yale faculty members:

Pediatric HIV Epidemic: From Accra to New Haven and Back, by Dr. Elijah Paintsil
Unprecedented global efforts have curbed the HIV epidemic. However, the gains have not been uniform. Pediatric HIV advances lag adult HIV advances. Moreover, pediatric HIV care in resource-limited settings lags behind that in resource-rich countries. In this lecture, Dr. Paintsil and students compared the differences in pediatric HIV epidemic using the situations in New Haven and Accra as case studies.

Dr. Elijah Paintsil is an associate professor of pediatrics infectious diseases, pharmacology, epidemiology & public health, and management at Yale University School of Medicine. He graduated from the University of Ghana Medical School in 1992. He worked for the Ghana Ministry of Health as District Director of Health Services for several years and proceeded to do his postdoctoral studies at Yale, USA. In 2006, Dr. Paintsil and his colleagues established the Yale-Ghana Partnership for Global Health with the mission of accelerating progress in Infectious Diseases and Public Health research in Africa through collaborative partnerships that effectively build intrinsic research capacity and reverse “brain-drain” by strengthening academic infrastructures.

The Responsibility to Protect: From Rwanda to Libya and Beyond, by Dr. Ian Shapiro
Dr. Shapiro explained the history of the United Nations’ “Responsibility to Protect” doctrine adopted in 2005 to prevent genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. He examined the problems the doctrine has run into since, and how it may guide UN action in the future.

Ian Shapiro is Sterling Professor of Political Science at Yale University, where he also serves as Henry R. Luce Director of the MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies. He has written widely and influentially on democracy, justice, and the methods of social inquiry. A native of South Africa, he received his J.D. from the Yale Law School and his Ph.D. from the Yale Political Science Department where he has taught since 1984 and served as chair from 1999 to 2004.

Research and Citizenship in Contemporary Africa: Learning to be Bold, Curious, and Humble
by Aalyia Sadruddin

What is the value of conducting research in contemporary Africa? Can becoming a researcher change/not change stereotypical views about Africa? What role do students across Africa have in contributing to these narratives? Ms. Sadruddin’s participatory lecture answered these questions by examining the problematic origins and relevance of conducting ethical and rigorous research in contemporary Africa. Students were encouraged to draw from their diverse social, cultural, and educational experiences by debating and discussing the positive and negative aspects of knowledge production and the extent to which this endeavor deepens (or does not deepen) notions of citizenship. Ultimately, this lecture aimed to get students excited about the prospect of conducting research on African issues irrespective of their field of choice/interest.

Ms. Aalyia Sadruddin is a doctoral candidate in the department of anthropology at Yale University. She was born in Kisumu, Kenya, and studied anthropology, sociology, and politics as an undergraduate at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. For her doctoral research, Aalyia examines how older persons (people who are 60 years or older) navigate and negotiate their changing social, economic, and care realities in contemporary Rwanda, where she has worked since 2013.

Language in Africa: Policies, Power and Preferences in a Globalized World, by Sandra Sanneh
There are over two thousand distinct languages spoken on the continent of Africa, and many of these languages have several dialects. This great wealth of words, expressions, proverbs and poetry faces challenges at a time when languages such as English, French and Mandarin seem to be expanding their hold over all forms of communication. But a look at the languages of the world in past centuries will show that languages are always changing, and that their status changes too. After reviewing some facts and figures about African languages Dr. Sanneh and students explored language attitudes and policy and the interaction between language and power. Also they looked at the study of language (linguistics) in U.S. universities.

Dr. Sandra Sanneh is Senior Lector II in Yale’s Program in African Languages, and Director of the Yale African Language Initiative. She teaches isiZulu at Yale, and also, via video conferencing, to students at Columbia and Cornell Universities. Sanneh also teaches a course on the interaction between language and identity in South Africa. Sanneh grew up in South Africa speaking several languages, and she learned other African languages while living and working in Central and West Africa. She is interested in the way multilingual individuals, such as young residents of Soweto, switch languages in conversation, and she researches the patterns that underlie their codeswitching.

Violent Conflict, Population Displacement and Health, by Dr. Kaveh Khoshnood
The World Health Organization describes violence as a public health problem and calls upon public health professionals to be more engaged in examining the causes and consequences of violence and to develop strategies to prevent it. Dr. Khoshnood’s lecture examined various forms of violence, in particular wars and civil conflict, and discussed how we can use the tools of public health to both understand and prevent the negative health consequences of violent conflicts in affected populations. Also, he briefly discussed the global refugee crisis and the health consequences of population displacement.

Dr. Kaveh Khoshnood is an Associate Professor at Yale School of Public Health and trained as an infectious disease epidemiologist. He has conducted HIV/AIDS prevention research in U.S., China, Russia, and several countries in the Middle East, among people who use illicit drugs and other populations at risk of HIV/AIDS. Currently he investigates substance use and risk of blood-borne infections among Lebanese nationals and displaced populations in Lebanon. Dr. Khoshnood has a growing interest in the plight of refugees and finding ways to reduce the negative health consequences of population displacement.

Successful Implementation of a PACS in Tanzania, by Dr. Frank Minja
Dr. Minja shared his experience implementing a PACS at the Muhimbili Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) is a radiology software which allows x-rays to be viewed on computer monitors. PACS replaces expensive hard copy film, both lowering the cost and improving access to x-ray images, which are critical for patient care in a busy referral center such as MOI. The 2014/15 academic year spent as visiting faculty at MOI, was also the first time Dr. Minja had spent more than two weeks in Tanzania since leaving for university 20 years earlier!

Dr. Frank Minja grew up and attended high-school in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, before leaving for college in 1995. He is Assistant Professor of Neuroradiology at the Yale School of Medicine and specializes in using X-ray, CT and MRI images to help diagnose and guide treatment of diseases in the human brain and spine. Dr. Minja especially enjoys working with and learning from young residents and fellows – the next generation of radiologists and Neuroradiologists; specialist medical doctors who are in extreme short supply in his native East Africa.