Ms. Arti Desai has received a grant from Map Your World, an innovative, multi-platform project that incorporates technology and places the power of new technologies into the hands of young change agents. Ms. Desai, a graduate from the Loma Linda University School of Public Health, class of 2013, is currently a PhD student at the Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and is working with the Perinatal Institute at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital to address growing needs and issues of gastroschisis, a congenital birth defect, in the Inland Empire region of southern California. Map Your World awarded Desai and her team six Nexus 7 tablets, made possible by a donation from Google. This grant provides new technologies and an innovative platform to address issues relating to health and overall well-being.
[Photo (L-R): Ms. Judy Gates, research nurse; Dr. Bryan Oshiro, research advisor and adjunct associate professor in the School of Public Health and Basic Sciences in the School of Medicine; Ms. Arti Desai]
“I applied for this grant to aid in some of my doctoral research where we are focusing on maternal and child health in the Inland Empire, and particularly looking at if environmental or chemical contaminants contribute to a certain adverse pregnancy outcome,” says Ms. Desai. “My aim is to use GIS, mapping technologies and interactive surveys to see if there is a clustering of birth defects cases, then educate and empower women to be better aware of taking care of themselves prenatally.”
This project not only aids in research but has clinical and public health implications as well. Specifically, the project contributes towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals for reducing child mortality rates and improving maternal health by 2015, by deepening the understanding of contributing risk factors linked to birth defects through the use of geoinformation technology.