James McClure and Charles Fisher et al.*

Community Healthcare, Population demographics, and Bed net usage in Kisumu, Kenya

About the authors: First authors: James McClure and Charles Fisher. Co-author: Dr. Steve Wandiga.

James McClure is a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies and Public Policy and a French minor. He is passionate about studying infectious diseases and health policy interventions in the global health field, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. His publication was the final report for a survey-based community health study that James and his research partner, Charles Fisher, designed as Research Interns with the School for International Training in Kisumu, Kenya. Under the guidance of Dr. Steve Wandiga, their project sought to identify socioeconomic and demographic factors associated with malaria bed net usage.

Charles Fisher is a senior at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is a Biology major and plans on minoring in Chemistry and History. His interests focus on public health with a focus on epidemiology and neglected tropical diseases. Charles currently works for the Public Health Corps division of AmeriCorps by volunteering at a Community Care Center, which is a nonprofit clinic for underinsured individuals. Charles hopes to continue with a career in public health by pursuing a graduate degree and working for the peace corps soon.

Dr. Steve Wandiga is an accomplished epidemiologist specializing in the convergence of infectious and non-communicable diseases. He was mentored during tuberculosis (TB) epidemiological projects funded by EDCTP, and he obtained a Ph.D. from Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich. Currently serving as the Academic Director for SIT Kenya and a Research Scientist at KEMRI, he leads the TB Division and oversees the ISO-certified BSL-3 laboratory, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and National Tuberculosis Program. Dr. Wandiga is Editor in Chief of the African Journal of Health Sciences and Managing Editor for the East African Health Research Journal. He has published extensively, and currently mentors 5 PhD candidates and 4 Master's students.

About the piece: This report is the result of a collaborative, survey-based community health study exploring the factors that influence bed net usage in Kisumu, Kenya. Although the report is tailored to the context in which it was conducted, the important factors that emerge through this exploration—like the vital role of education in human health outcomes—are applicable to a global context, and make clear the connection between local conditions and global themes. The authors' conscientious reflection upon their positionality, their purpose as researchers, and the nature of their presence in Kisumu remind the reader that intentional self reflection is a critical element of compassionate and effective research. 

Photograph provided by James McClure

Community Healthcare, Population Demographics and Their Relation to Bed Net Usage in Kisumu County, Kenya