Laurie Ohlstein

Laurie Ohlstein

From Boston – Recently graduated from Boston University with her Masters in Global Health

Laurie works on the Cervical Cancer Prevention Project in Kedougou, Senegal.

She also does some other amazing work!!!

Laurie Ohlstein, Peace Corps Volunteer and Master’s International Student


What is needed to further improve the health of your community?

Better organization is needed especially since communities are large and they vary.  It’s also needed for better planning, since planning activities or meetings 3 days in advance is standard. They do have many means for health care, but better utilization of staff time to get things done could improve organization, especially for the current health leaders that have so many responsibilities and things to get done.

Dancing seems to be a large part of the culture here. Tell us about times you enjoy dancing most.

“Anywhere I can! It’s a great way to break the ice with people. When music is on, I don’t mind getting on any elevated surface to dance.  Here in Senegal, we dance at celebrations such as weddings and baby naming ceremonies.  One dance I learned here is called Sabaar.  It’s almost like flailing and it’s awesome.”

Tell us about a project you’re currently working on that addresses the challenges of health equity in the community where you work.

PECADOM Plus is a program that was originally designed by a past Peace Corps Volunteer. It focuses on malaria, diarrhea, and other respiratory infections.  There was a 2 year comparison study done in 15 villages.  Based on this study, we were able to scale the program up to the regional level and next year it will expand to two regions.  Through this program, DSDOMs (community health workers) take villages by their entirety to ask about fever and other related questions and provide treatment.  Challenges like geographic barriers are being considered in all the plans to scale up.  It’s great because this program is owned by the health system and our ultimate goal is for Peace Corps Volunteers to not be involved at all.

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