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Global Environmental Health Research and Research Training

Center team members collaborate with the Research Center of the Academic Hospital Paramaribo and the Anton de Kom University of Suriname, supported by the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), on the MekiTamara project in Suriname. The overall goal of this project is to assess the impact of exposures to neurotoxicants (such as heavy metals and pesticides) on maternal and child health in Suriname while preserving the unique assets, health and cultural traditions of indigenous and other health disparate populations.

Suriname faces a triple public health burden: high perinatal mortality, environmental contamination potentially related to growing mining and agricultural development, and a lack of environmental policies. To strengthen the country’s capacity to address this burden, Center Director Maureen Lichtveld leads a research training grant supporting MekiTamara. The training grant implements short-term training tailored to the research theme, Caribbean-wide professional development and policy workshops, certificate training in environmental health and industrial hygiene, graduate degrees in environmental and occupational health, and mentored research experiences.

The research training grant is supported by the NIH Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, the Center for Disease Control and National Institutes of Health under award Number U2RTW010104. MekiTamara is supported by the NIH Fogarty International Center, National Institutes of Environmental Health Sciences, the NIH and NIOSH (CDC) under Award Number U01TW010087.