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Sonak Pastakia  

Professor in the Purdue University College of Pharmacy's Center for Health Equity and Innovation

Sonak D. Pastakia is a professor in the Purdue University College of Pharmacy's Center for Health Equity and Innovation. Pastakia has spent the last ten years based in western Kenya working with the Academic Model Providing Access to Healthcare (AMPATH) program to provide comprehensive population health.

Through his efforts in Kenya, he has assumed a variety of roles including, serving as a consultant for Abbott to design chronic disease care in India, being a founding member and a member of the board of directors of the Tumaini Street Youth Center, serving as co-chair of the Academic Model Providing Access to Health Care (AMPATH) Pharmacy department, and being a principal investigator or co-investigator on several National Institutes of Health and Medical Research Council Grants. Within these roles, he has focused on implementing a wide variety of programs including a rural diabetes care program which currently serves over 5,000 patients with diabetes and has screened over 50,000 people, a portable care system linked to microfinance groups which provides chronic disease management services, a pharmacy distribution system which provides antiretroviral medications to over 150,000 HIV-infected patients receiving care at over 500 clinics throughout western Kenya, and an anticoagulation monitoring program which serves over 2,700 patients.

With the Africa Bureau, Sonak Pastakia is helping to coordinate activities amongst the many US governmental agencies involved with supporting development efforts in Africa. His primary focus areas are to create mechanisms by which programs for Universal Health Coverage in Sub-Saharan Africa can be advanced. In addition, he is also working to promote multi-sectoral efforts to enhance the depth, breadth, and quality of service delivery for programs supported by USAID in the Africa region.


Lessons in explaining viruses to the public: rely on the science
At this point in the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of informing people to help them make their own decisions is growing. Many regions are lifting social distancing recommendations, but epidemiologists warn of a surge in cases if restrictions are lifted too soon. One challenge in keeping people informed, though, is that there is still so much uncertainty around the novel coronavirus. Scientists are still working to unlock its many mysteries .

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