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Duke MSc-Global Health Students

Since 2015, four students completing a Master’s of Science in Global Health  (MSc-GHprogram at the Duke Global Health Institute, have spent 10 weeks in South Africa at CARA. The early intervention work directed by Dr Lauren Franz at UCT, supported by the Duke Global Health Institute (DGHI) and the National Institute of Health, has been an excellent fieldwork opportunity for these DGHI MSc-GH students. Dr Franz is their primary DGHI faculty mentor and thesis chair.  Prof Petrus de Vries has been on the DGHI thesis defence committee.

    1. Jessy Guler (2015)   

Picture: Noleen Seris, Lauren Franz, Jessy Guler, Nokuthula Shabalala

The objective of Jessy's thesis was to explore the perspectives of South African caregivers of young children with ASD, assessing which contextual factors they deemed important to consider in early ASD intervention. A broader goal of her study was to inform the process of adaptation of caregiver coaching early ASD intervention for new contexts. Her thesis was published in 2017 in the Journal: Autism. It is entitled: The importance of context in early autism intervention:  A qualitative South African study. Co-authors: Jessy Guler, Petrus de Vries, Noleen Seris, Nokuthula Shabalala, & Lauren Franz. The article can be accessed by clicking here.


 2.      Konyin Adewumi (2016)


Picture (Foreground): Petrus de Vries, Konyin Adewumi, Lauren Franz

The objective of Konyin's thesis was to engage with key stakeholders in Health, Education, Social Development, and the non-profit sector in the Western Cape Province to explore (1) the policy environment relevant to young children with developmental disabilities such as ASD, (2) the practicality of providing early ASD detection and intervention, (3) whether early intervention could be integrated into existing platforms of care, and (4) how early ASD intervention could become a sustainable approach. Work is currently underway to publish a manuscript related to Konyin’s thesis. Co-authors include: Lauren Franz, Konyin Adewumi, Nola Chambers, Marisa Viljoen, Joy Noel Baumgartner & Petrus de Vries.


 3.      Kevin Ramseur II (2017)


Picture: Kevin Ramseur II presenting his thesis results at the Duke Global Health Showcase

Kevin’s thesis explored caregiver-child joint activity routines and caregiver perceptions of the acceptability of a caregiver coaching approach in South Africa. We are currently converting Kevin’s thesis into a manuscript for publication.


 4.      Xiaoxu Ding  (2018)

Picture: Lauren Franz, Xiaoxu Ding, Petrus de Vries

Xiaoxu recently completed her fieldwork at UCT. Her thesis will assess the fidelity of caregiver and non-specialist early autism intervention implementation in South Africa.