BIDMC’s Visiting Scholars Program

Luka D. Kur, M.D., a physician from the Sudan, traveled to BIDMC this summer to participate in the medical center’s Visiting Scholar program. Launched in 2001 in collaboration with the Foundation for African Relief (FAR), the program is part of the AIDS Collaborative Project, which fosters teamwork between health professionals in Africa, their BIDMC counterparts and the Harvard medical community in a strategic fight against Africa’s HIV/AIDS epidemic. Kur, the first Visiting Scholar from the Sudan, is completing his fellowship in HIV Management at BIDMC. 

Kur presented his project on the impact of sexually transmitted diseases on HIV at Healthcare Associates’ (HCA) HIV conference. He told conference attendees that due to an ongoing Civil War in the Sudan, he believes that his country has not received the international assistance necessary to effectively fight the war against HIV. He also discussed his plans to introduce an HIV surveillance program upon his return to the Sudan. 

Kur completed his research project with the support of BIDMC preceptors John Doweiko, M.D. and Camilla Graham, M.D., infectious disease; Howard Libman, M.D., general medicine/HCA; Lisa Hirschhorn, M.D., infectious disease; Igor Koralnik, M.D., neurology; Booker T. Bush, M.D., general medicine/HCA; and Joyce Sackey, M.D., general medicine/HCA, program director for the Visiting Scholar’s program. 

- Last month Sackey, who co-founded FAR and directs the AIDS Collaborative Project, hosted a 3-day national workshop for physicians providing HIV care in Ghana. Sackey has been working with the State Department to develop funding for HIV programs in that country. Recently she learned that FAR’s partner non-governmental organization in Ghana, AIDS ALLY, is on the short list of seven organizations whose proposals are being considered for funding from the Global AIDS Fund. AIDS ALLY is headed by former BIDMC Visiting Scholars, Peter Preko, M.D., and George Frimpong, M.D., and was selected from among 250 proposals for final consideration – proof of the difference BIDMC’s outreach efforts are making around the world.