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My Summer on Mfangano Island

Folasade Wilson Anumudu MPH’17

This summer I was blessed with the wonderful opportunity to spend twelve weeks in the beautiful East African country of Kenya. My internship took me to Mfangano Island, a remote island located in Lake Victoria, Western Kenya where I completed my summer research project focusing on global maternal and child health nutrition.

I worked alongside Organic Health Response, a community-based organization, on a project that evaluated the benefits of a social network nutrition program within communities of the Island. More specifically, my work consisted of both quantitative and qualitative research, as I was responsible for the collection, entry and analysis of data from nutrition knowledge questionnaires that were administered to assess overall nutrition knowledge of participants to further examine the impact of the pilot social network nutrition program. I was also responsible for providing support in the implementation of focus group discussions conducted with participants of the social network nutrition program groups as well.

I had the pleasure of spending most of my days working at a place that served as the center of the community, the Ekialo Kiona Center. Referred to as the “EK Center” by locals, the Ekialo Kiona Center provided the space for local community members to enjoy unlimited and free access to a number of resources and services available to all individuals who agreed to participate in regular HIV testing and counseling. The Ekialo Kiona Center was also staffed with a wonderful research team that I had the pleasure of working with throughout the summer.

sade Asante sana (thank you very much) to this awesome research team! My research project
wouldn’t have been possible without the help of every one of these individuals.

My time on Mfangano Island was one full of unforgettable memories, personal growth and lifelong friendships, as I had the time to spend my weeks immersing myself in a completely new culture and environment. I feel so grateful to have been provided with this summer research opportunity. My summer on Mfangano wouldn’t have been possible without the help and support of my preceptors, faculty advisors, UC Berkeley’s Center for Global Public Health Fellowship and most importantly the Sarah E. Samuels Scholarship. This research opportunity allowed me to explore my love for both nutrition and global health research, which would not have been possible without the funding and support from the Sarah E. Samuels Graduate Award in Public Health Nutrition.


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