Featured Student

Kristy Hackett

What’s your program and specialty?

Social & Behavioural Health Sciences

Maternal and child health; access to healthcare; community health workers; ICTs for health; infant & young child feeding

Why are you studying global health?

During my undergraduate studies, I took a fantastic medical anthropology course that introduced me to a host of global health issues. The material forced me to think critically about why our world is so wrought with health inequities, and what Canadians might do to help improve the situation. I’ve been inspired to work in this field ever since.

Why did you choose to take part in the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health?

Joining the Collaborative Doctoral Program in Global Health was an easy decision, as it provided me with opportunities to learn from leading researchers and practitioners in global health, and, most importantly, it fostered a supportive environment for learning and collaboration with like-minded people from multiple disciplines.

What are some current projects or research that you’re involved in?

Drawing on perspectives in medical anthropology and public health, my thesis research is an evaluation of a mobile health (cell phone-based) intervention for community health workers in rural Tanzania. This study explores whether low-cost smartphone technology can strengthen health system support for community health workers, and whether this approach improves women’s utilization of quality health services during pregnancy and childbirth.

Another project I’m working on with colleagues at the Centre for Global Child Health (Sick Kids hospital) investigates adolescent mothers’ experiences of antenatal care services in Ghana and Tanzania. My previous research explored infant feeding and care practices among adolescent women in rural Bangladesh.

If you have one, what is your dissertation title?

Evaluation of a Community-based Smartphone Intervention to Improve Women’s Access to Maternal Health Services in Rural Tanzania

What would you say to a prospective student who is considering the CDPGH or studying global health at the University of Toronto more broadly?

I’d advise prospective students to get involved in as many Toronto-based global health activities as possible. At times it can be daunting to navigate the global health landscape, even here in Toronto, but there are so many groups doing really interesting work in this space. Speaking to others who approach global health issues from various perspectives really helped me develop my research interests.