The 11 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows for 2014–2015 have begun their studies at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), met with NIDA officials, and participated in the U.S. Department of State Global Leadership Forum for Hubert H. Humphrey Fellows. On September 17–18, 2014, NIDA International Program Associate Director Dale Weiss and NIDA International Fellowships Administrator Lisa Jordre briefed the VCU cohort about NIDA’s mission, international priorities, and programs to promote collaborative research and scientific exchange about drug abuse and addiction. They also met with each fellow individually to learn about the fellow’s goals and to suggest potential professional affiliations. In November, 171 fellows from 98 countries participated in the Global Leadership Forum. During that event, Ms. Weiss and Brian Morales, U.S. Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), led a discussion session about drug abuse and its consequences for health, social, economic, education, and criminal justice systems. Mr. Morales invited interested fellows to work with INL’s international partners in implementing demand reduction programs.
The 2014–2015 NIDA Hubert H. Humphrey Drug Abuse Research Fellows are:
- Mariam Abdoh, M.Sc. (Jordan) Ms. Abdoh led the screening operations for the Jordan Breast Cancer Program in 2014, where she managed the national breast cancer screening and early detection projects for underprivileged communities and non-Jordanian refugees. She has managed public awareness campaigns, medical conferences, and professional training for medical professionals. During her fellowship, Ms. Abdoh will focus on noncommunicable disease prevention, particularly for underserved and minority populations, and on women’s health, including nutritional, political, and economic issues.
- Yu Yu Aung, M.B.B.S., M.P.H. (Myanmar [Burma]) Dr. Aung has been working in health and development programs addressing HIV/AIDS, reproductive health, adolescent health and development, and capacity building for local nongovernmental organizations and community networks. As an HIV/AIDS national program officer in the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Dr. Aung helped establish the first network of youth at high risk for HIV infection, Myanmar Youth Stars, to prevent HIV transmission. During her fellowship, Dr. Aung will expand her knowledge of the behavioral, social, neurocognitive, and emotional development processes of adolescents; key risk and protective factors affecting health-related behaviors; and designing HIV prevention programs for young people.
- Nora Binishi, M.Sc. (Kosovo) An architectural engineer, Ms. Binishi is responsible for promoting hygienic maintenance, safety, and security for government buildings, such as the University Clinical Center of Kosovo, to ensure a clean and healthy environment for staff and patients. During her fellowship, Ms. Binishi will focus on learning how to raise awareness about the importance of maintaining hospital infrastructure, technical and environmental methods to reduce acquired infections in health care settings, and how to transform aging hospital buildings into modern health care facilities.
- Mohammed Magdy Elhamshary, M.D., M.Sc. (Egypt) A doctoral candidate and an addiction specialist, Dr. Elhamshary provides psychopharmacological management and counseling for patients with substance use disorders. He is experienced in cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing, and family counseling. Working with nongovernmental organizations, he teaches parents how to detect and manage substance use by their children, trains mental health professionals in addiction medicine, and conducts research. During his fellowship, he will focus primarily on drug abuse prevention and treatment for adolescents in school and community settings.
- Sylvester Ebenezer Nana Koomson, M.A. (Ghana) Mr. Koomson is the head of the Greater Accra Regional Office of the Ghana Narcotics Control Board, which coordinates drug law enforcement in Ghana. Prior to his current position, Mr. Koomson led the International Programs and Information Management section of the Ghana Narcotics Control Board. He focuses on substance abuse education and prevention, especially among youth, communities, and faith-based institutions. During his fellowship, Mr. Koomson hopes to expand his knowledge of substance abuse education, treatment, and prevention; obtain experience in designing, monitoring, and evaluating effective and efficient interventions; and better understand drug control legislation and policies.
- Jean-Li Lim, M.D., M.Med., FRACGP, MAFPM (Malaysia) A primary care physician, Dr. Lim works with indigenous communities in Malaysia promoting long-acting reversible contraception to improve maternal health and the quality of life among women and their families. During her fellowship, she hopes to learn about assessing unmet health needs to design effective programs to improve sexual reproductive health practices among indigenous and marginalized women in Malaysia.
- Abdul Subor Momand, M.D., M.P.H. (Afghanistan) In 2008, Dr. Momand was selected as the deputy program coordinator for drug demand reduction in the Afghani Ministry of Public Health. A trainer and supervisor in a community-based mental health program, he has taught health care professionals about common mental health and substance use disorders and joined the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Afghan Country Office in 2012 as the national training officer for drug demand reduction. During his fellowship, Dr. Momand wants to learn how to develop and implement more effective drug control policies and strategies and community-based drug abuse prevention and treatment programs, especially for women and children.
- Farheen Naveed (Pakistan) A certified substance abuse treatment practitioner, Ms. Naveed serves as a trainer for the Colombo Plan International Center for Certification of Addiction Professionals. She is the managing director of New Horizons Care Center, a pioneer in providing free treatment, rehabilitation, and reintegration services to people with substance use disorders, and the founding director of the Drug Free Pakistan Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that provides drug abuse prevention services. In 2009, she successfully convinced the Karachi city district government to launch the Drug Free Karachi program, establishing the largest addiction treatment hospital in Pakistan. Ms. Naveed was nominated as one of the 10 most inspiring women of Pakistan in 2014, and she was recently nominated for an N-Peace Award. Her goals for the fellowship include enhancing her knowledge of evidence-based prevention programs so that she can expand the prevention services available in Pakistan.
- Francis Kofi Torkornoo, M.A. (Ghana) Mr. Torkornoo is the director of demand reduction for the Narcotics Control Board, the leading governmental agency in Ghana for drug law enforcement and demand reduction. He has developed a system to monitor precursor chemicals imported, distributed, or used in Ghana; expanded rehabilitation services; and worked on prevention and education programs to detect drug abuse among students in primary and secondary schools. During his fellowship, Mr. Torkornoo plans to study evidence-based substance abuse prevention and rehabilitation programs in the United States.
- Nanda Myo Aung Wan, M.B.B.S., M.Med.Sc. (Myanmar [Burma]) A team leader in drug use prevention and treatment at the Ministry of Health Drug Treatment Hospital Myitkyina, Dr. Wan also provides HIV counseling and testing. He organized a steering committee of representatives from the government, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations to coordinate harm reduction activities in Kachin State and is a member of the national coordination committee for harm reduction. Dr. Wan is also a monitoring and evaluating officer for methadone maintenance therapy in Kachin State. During his fellowship, Dr. Wan will focus on drug use prevention policy for children and adolescents. He would also like to improve his knowledge of research methodology and develop his ability to conduct a substance use survey among young people.
- Geraldine Gonzalez Willim, M.S.W. (Paraguay) A registered private practice social worker, Ms. Willim is designing an educational project to train middle school teachers in drug prevention for the National Anti-Drug Secretariat. She was a director of cooperation at the SENAVITAT, worked at the National Secretariat for Social Action, and served as a qualitative investigation professor at the National University of Asuncion School of Social Work. During her fellowship, Ms. Willim hopes to expand her expertise in substance abuse prevention, treatment, monitoring, and research. She also seeks to learn how to design and implement effective prevention programs, especially those programs that train children and teenagers as antidrug leaders in their communities.