Natalia Dellavalle ’18 Wins Fulbright Research Award to Lesotho

Natalia Dellavalle ’18 has been awarded a Fulbright Research Award in Public Health to Lesotho, where she will spend nine months researching hypertension.

“Lesotho's healthcare system is geared toward fighting infectious diseases, namely HIV and tuberculosis,” says Dellavalle, a former Mathematics major. “I am interested in studying the rising burden of chronic disease in Lesotho, a country that faces a double burden of both communicable and noncommunicable disease.”

While in Lesotho, Dellavalle will do a qualitative research project interviewing healthcare providers and patients diagnosed with hypertension. Her project will assess the barriers, facilitators, and effectiveness of the screening and treatment protocols for hypertension in Lesotho.

“Lesotho has begun implementing chronic disease screenings into their successful infectious disease work, and I am interested in learning about progress of these initiatives,” she says.

Dellavalle was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Lesotho from 2019-2020 and was evacuated due to the pandemic. She is very excited to be returning to the country in southern Africa.

Dellavalle leaves for Lesotho in September and will return to the United States in May 2025. She hopes to start medical school in 2025 and continue studying and implementing public health measures throughout her career.
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