Department of Public Health Sciences

Department of

Public Health Sciences


Public Health Sciences

site header

MSc candidate carries out fieldwork in Kilimanjaro

Erica Erwin (MSc ’16) is working on her Master fieldwork in the Kilimanjaro region of Tanzania. Her research focus uses mobile health (mHealth) strategies to increase uptake of cervical cancer screening in low resource settings.        

Erica is conducting a pilot study on behaviour-change research that uses educational messages and travel vouchers (both delivered via text message) to increase screening uptake.   This is building on the work of two of  the Department’s  former  MSc  students, Emily Skastins and Melissa Cunningham, who previously studied the barriers to cervical cancer screening and HPV vaccines in the region. The pilot study is being run under the supervision of Dr. Karen Yeates and Dr. Kristan Aronson. It builds an innovative and effective method of screening for cervical cancer developed by Dr. Yeates requiring a trained non-physician healthcare worker, a mobile phone camera and text messaging.

As well as conducting her research, Erica has already camped  at a lake situated in a crater, and in the very near future, she plans to visit coffee plantations and waterfalls in the surrounding area and to set  out on a safari. She will also have the opportunity to participate in a medical caravan providing health services to remote locations. 

Erica Erwin on a hike at Lake Chala (left) and standing by Lake Chala with colleagues (right)