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Faculty of Health Team to Represent Dal on Global Stage at World's Challenge Challenge in June

Posted by Terry Murray-Arnold on March 22, 2019 in Students, Events, News
(L-R Brianna, Rachel and Justine) photo credit: Dr. Marsha Campbell-Yeo. 

On March 14, Faculty of Health PhD students Justine Dol (Health), Brianna Richardson (Nursing), and Rachel Ollivier (Nursing) made a compelling case for their health innovation: Essential Coaching for Every Mother at the local Dalhousie competition of the World’s Challenge Challenge (WCC). The students won the round and were chosen to represent Dal at Western University in June 2019.

The WCC is a global initiative of Western University encouraging young minds from different disciplines to come together to address a global issue and offer solutions to implement in partnership with communities. The WCC frames these issues through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

Western University invited Dal and other select Canadian universities, as well as international schools from the US, Hong Kong, Australia and more, to submit a team of three presenters who will try to ‘out-pitch’ each other at the global competition in June. The first place prize is $30,000, which is intended to help development and implementation of the winning solution.

The goal of Essential Coaching for Every Mother is to share knowledge with mothers and improve their confidence in caring for themselves and their baby. The innovation will send daily text messages to moms in Canada and Tanzania containing information related to caring for themselves and their baby during the first six weeks after birth, when and where they need it the most: right at home. The one-way messages will be based on the best up-to-date evidence, existing World Health Organization guidelines, and local standards of postnatal care.

Messages will be tailored, piloted, and evaluated in both Tanzania and Canada and will cover newborn and maternal health topics such as breastfeeding and postpartum anxiety and depression. For Tanzanian mothers, Essential Coaching for Every Mother will be focused on reducing infant mortality by supporting mothers in providing the best care for their babies.

“We are honoured to have these exceptional students represent Dalhousie and Dal Health at the WCC at Western University in June,” said Dr. Cheryl Kozey, Acting Dean. “I believe the students' success speaks to our Faculty’s strong commitment to finding health solutions that are impactful through collaborations with our local and global partners. We wish the best of luck to Brianna, Justine and Rachel!”