According to the University, 5 undergraduates and their mentor, received support from the university’s center for Global Health and the Jefferson Public Citizens Programme for one of the projects.
In her dissertation project, Jamela Martin is collaborating with Dr. Patrick Martin (no relation), Chief Medical Officer in the Ministry of Health, and pediatrician Dr. Ian Jacobs on a study exploring women’s experiences of pregnancy, prenatal care and delivery services.
Jamela Martin is the daughter U.Va.’s Vice President and Chief Officer for Diversity and Equity, who began the collaboration with the Ministry of Health in St. Kitts and Nevis five years ago.
Martin has been a neonatal intensive care nurse, but began her doctoral studies in nursing in 2008 while also working on her master’s degree and Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certificate.
“Over the last several years, I have realized the importance, particularly in global health, of looking further upstream at the conditions that may affect mothers and neonates during pregnancy,” she said.
She learned a great deal about women’s experiences in St. Kitts and Nevis, including how women use different sectors of the health system and continue to practice traditional methods.
“One of the most interesting topics that I have discussed with the women is the use of ‘bush tea,’ commonly made with lemongrass or basil, in daily life and also during pregnancy,” she said. Bush tea is the common name for a traditional herbal remedy. There hasn’t been enough research done to determine whether the tea is helpful or not. Bush tea can be made with a variety of herbs, depending on whether it is being consumed for a specific ailment or daily well-being; in Africa, it is commonly made with rooibos, the red bush.
The research may lead to the development of more effective methods for balancing health care delivery to St. Kitts and Nevis citizens, said Marcus Martin, the faculty adviser for the primary care project.
“We’re working on putting out a couple of publications and presenting for the Jefferson Public Citizens,” Mishra said. “We hope to submit to some other public health conferences to share our experiences and research.”