Research Spotlight - Madeline Reynders

Author: Kelly Girst

Madeline Reynders With Ghana Children

Madeline Reynders

Major: Science-Business
Research Location: Kumasi, Ghana

Madeline spent 8 weeks living and working in Kumasi, Ghana with a research team at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. Her research project was focused on implementing a pilot Reactive Case Detection (RACD) program headquartered at the rural Mankranso District Government Hospital. RACD programs attempt to find and treat asymptomatic infections by following a symptomatic malaria case that was diagnosed in the hospital back to the home. They then treat members of the infected person's household and neighboring households. Madeline's project aimed to evaluate the feasibility, success, and logistical challenges of this type of malaria control program. Her team screened 496 individuals for malaria and found that high rates of prevalence in index case, neighboring, and control households, which suggested that a mass treatment program may be more effective at eliminating malaria in this area than a reactive case detection program.

Madeline says, "My experience in Ghana was an incredible way to place all of my molecular research into context. Working in the field with international collaborators and meeting the people who live in rural Ghana was incredibly fulfilling, as I felt that my research was actually bringing positive change to this malaria endemic area. I believe that my summer in Ghana taught me how to collaborate, communicate, and lead a diverse team, all of which are valuable skills that I will bring with me in my academic and professional career."