Pre-Term Births: A Global Health Issue

Scholarship Entrant: Grace from Saint Louis, Missouri
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Grace: 19

I’ve been lucky to spend the past three months working a lab studying the clinical features and bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis, an infection that can cause low birth weight, preterm birth, and other complications. This infection affects women around the globe and is especially prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and, surprisingly, the US. Too many children and their mothers are lost each year to complications from this infection, which is often asymptomatic. I feel that this is not acceptable. If I could do anything in the world, I would continue to research this disease and possible treatments for it. I would also focus on getting the word out, as it is also not commonly heard of. As it stands now I am an undergraduate pursuing a degree in biological sciences, and working in a microbiology lab studying bacteria associated with bacterial vaginosis. I hope to publish research papers in the future detailing features of this disease and thus have my work reach a greater audience. When I complete my medical degree specializing in women’s health as I plan to, I hope to practice abroad and treat women who may not have consistent access to health care, whether general or prenatal. In some small way, I plan to help reduce the number of preterm births and infant deaths by helping mothers get the care they need.

Vote for Grace: 19

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