The COVID-19 pandemic rages unabated in the United States and around the globe, posing severe threats to the lives of billions, among the most harmed being Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic communities. Wildfires have burned down millions of acres across the West Coast as climate change prevention has stalled. Coastal communities are about to face the worst of hurricane season, which has already flooded swaths of the Gulf. Everywhere one looks, the consequences of poor global health have never been more apparent.

In response to these calamitous events, our team of editors and designers has worked since the spring to bring together the NURJ Summer 2020 Global Health package. We created a package of six theses showcasing Northwestern undergraduates’ research into a diverse selection of global health issues most relevant to us today. From Voluntourism to Human Trafficking, our researchers forayed into problems, initiatives, and policies from across the globe. We included Q&A sections with the authors to better contextualize students’ motives and experiences to our readers.

Although the world is facing a slew of challenges, halting the livelihoods of all, the research presented in this package reminds us that analytical rigor, determined methods, and bold exploration can diagnose problems and propose solutions. It is our hope that readers will become inspired to learn more about health, both at home and abroad, and to chart their own paths forward as researchers, individuals, and citizens.

Lydia Rivers
NURJ Online Editorial Managing Editor

Shreyas Iyer
NURJ Online Editorial Associate Managing Editor

Human Trafficking in Global Supply Chains

Labor trafficking, a form of human trafficking, is a modern-day form of slavery where victims are forced into poor working conditions with little compensation. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that at least 24 million people are victims of forced labor at any given time. Labor trafficking is the second largest crime in the world…

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Analytics for Social Good: Application to Human Trafficking

Despite the great amounts of attention and effort that human rights and social injustice have drawn over the past decades, numerous violations of such rights still persist today. One of the most prominent of these violations can be seen in the ongoing human trafficking operations around the globe.

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The Applications of Mobile Health Technology (mHealth) in Reducing Maternal Mortality and Improving Maternal Health

Technology is developing at a rapid pace, serving as an invaluable resource in various disciplines — especially healthcare. This technology can be utilized in low-resource settings such as in rural areas or developing countries where there are high rates of maternal mortality. Most maternal deaths are preventable with proper antenatal care during pregnancy…

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Dismantling Voluntourism: Evaluating the Effects of a Global Health Supplemental Curriculum on Undergraduate Volunteers Travelling to Haiti

In the era of international volunteerism, mounting evidence suggests that the presence of unskilled and culturally unaware volunteers in the global south fosters “voluntourism,” and endangers the very populations and institutions that volunteers want to help. Northwestern does not enforce a pre-trip curriculum for student organizations that …

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Prospects and Potential for Expanding Women’s Oncofertility Options

Within the past years, oncofertility has become an interdisciplinary field that aims to connect reproductive endocrinology and oncology in order to assess the efficacy of reproduction in cancer patients. Various treatments, such as chemotherapy, surgery, or radiation have raised survival rates for cancer patients. Unfortunately, women are often subject to an increased risk of infertility among reproductive-aged patients post-treatment.

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