Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Jooyoung “Paul” Park L&S Sciences

Microbiological Contamination in Local Water Sources and Related Waterborne Illnesses in Rural Tanzania

The human right to water is indispensable for leading a life in human dignity. It is a prerequisite for the realization of other human rights
-UN Economic and Social Council General Comment No. 15

Although the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) to reduce by half the number of people without access to improved sources of water by the year 2015 was supposedly met in 2010, about 748 million people around the world, especially in rural areas, are still without improved clean water sources. For my research project, I will be working with the non-profit African Immigrants Social and Cultural Services (AISCS) on assessing microbial contamination level in different water local sources and characterizing prevalence of related waterborne diseases such as diarrhea among the local population. The collected data and geospatial analysis will try to not only establish safer locations for drinking water precedence in the case of differential microbiological contamination level in different sources, but also set precedence future research on possible treatment options and establish future plans and strategies for building additional, suitable water infrastructure in Shirati.

Message To Sponsor

First of all, I would like to thank the SURF program and the Wishek Fund donors for this opportunity to go abroad and conduct my own research project. As a Public Health major and Global Poverty and Practice minor, I look forward to apply what I have learned in classes so far to the rural, low-resource community of Shirati in order to cooperatively make small changes with local health workers and leaders. Personally, I am beyond excited to go for the second time to Africa, the continent that sparked my future interest in the health field back when I was a high school student. This time, I not only hope to produce useful data and results in order to make a broader impact, but also allow me to personally grow and to critically reevaluate my current and future role in the study of global health and poverty.
Major: Public Health - Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, Global Poverty & Practice (Minor)
Mentor: Charlotte Smith, School of Public Health - Environmental Health Sciences
Sponsor: Wishek
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