Study Research Fulbright in Guatemala
As early as her high school AP biology class, Madeline Perry became fascinated with the social and economic impact of the HIV virus on people’s lives globally. Since then, Perry has made it her mission to study medicine and help make health care accessible everywhere.
Perry is a fourth-year medical student in UC’s College of Medicine but will spend 10 months in Tecpán, Guatemala, as a Fulbright study research recipient working with the nonprofit agency Maya Health Alliance, also known as Wuqu' Kawoq, to offer better medical care to women facing high-risk pregnancies.
“Because of widespread discrimination against the indigenous population in Guatemala, women don’t always use the formal medical sector,” says Perry. “As a result, midwives, who often cannot read themselves, attend many of the births for these women.”
Working with the Maya Health Alliance, Perry will be studying the effects of a picture-based smartphone medical app that can be used by the midwives to help identify and distinguish high-risk pregnancies from low-risk and to make appropriate health care more accessible to indigenous women most at risk for medical complications.
Using quantitative analysis and qualitative components that use interviews with the women, midwives and health-care providers, Perry will help assess the high-risk women who will ultimately need to be seen by professional obstetricians and neonatologists in a formal health-care setting.
When she returns, Perry plans to publish her research in Global Health: Science and Practice and present at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
Perry’s trip to Guatemala won’t be her first in the area of global health. She spent time in Geneva, Switzerland, encountering major health agencies such as the World Health Organization, the United Nations, UNAIDS and the Red Cross.
Perry was also part of a nonprofit operating in Morocco’s Sahara desert dedicated to screening kids for easily treatable eye conditions, as well as in Ecuador with Timmy Global Health and Uganda to study the impact of Ebola in a northern region of the country.
“You can get a good medical school education anywhere, but at UC you are also encouraged to do things outside of medicine whether it be research or advocacy or policy work, and I value that in a medical school,” states Perry.
More about Madeline Perry