March 26, 2012 - By Ruthann Richter
First-year medical student Rishi Mediratta is the first recipient of the new DACOR Gatenbein Medical Fund Fellowship, which invests in medical students who are committed to improving global health.
The fellowship is offered through DACOR, a Washington, DC-based association of foreign affairs professionals. It will provide Mediratta with $25,000 in tuition and $5,000 in living expenses for an academic year, with the possibility of further funding.
Mediratta, 25, said he is grateful for the support which “will give me the opportunity to pursue my passion in global health and find innovative ways of working with different institutions and faculty members to address health disparities among children.”
He founded the nonprofit Ethiopian Orphan Health Foundation, which funds education and medical care for 91 children in Ethiopia, and provides training to community health workers and peer education about HIV/AIDS and reproductive health.
Mediratta first traveled to Ethiopia while a freshman at the Johns Hopkins University and obtained several grants for a study there on how mothers care for their children with diarrheal diseases. He found some simple solutions to the problem, such as frequent hand-washing, use of dehydration salts and encouraging mothers to give their sick children more food and fluids, rather than less.
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