20 Jul 2016

Spotlight on New Staff: Trinadh Dontamsetti

Name: Trinadh Dontamsetti

Position title: Health Geographic Analyst

Languages spoken: English, Spanish, Telugu

When not working, favorite place to visit:  You mean other than grandma’s house to get some home-cooked food? I have a definite soft spot for my hometown of Tampa, Florida and its perpetually great weather (and mom’s home-cooked food).

Favorite type of cuisine: I can’t say I’ve got a favorite, if only because I’ll eat anything and everything that looks good.  I most often catch myself cooking Italian or Chinese food, however.

Last good book you read: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Viktor Frankl.  While really heavy, it’s one of the most inspiring books I’ve ever read.

Where would we find you on a Saturday?  Any number of places, depending on the time! A typical Saturday includes a long workout at the gym, a longer drive on winding roads (it’s my go-to stress relief), and a trip into DC to undo my workout by eating far too much.

First time you worked with DHS survey data: During my Master’s program at the University of South Florida, using 2013 Nigeria DHS GPS data as part of a study on schistosomiasis transmission.

What is on your desk (or bulletin board/wall) right now?  I’m a minimalist, so not much (that’s a better way of saying I’m too lazy to decorate).  I do have a tiny, magnetic alpaca that a friend brought me from Peru, and I plan to surround him with souvenirs once I get back from my first DHS trip to Ghana!

What is your favorite survey final report cover?   2010-11 Senegal DHS.  I’m a huge fan of geometric art.

Favorite chapter or indicator, and why? One of my major focuses during my Master’s program was vector-borne disease (specifically Integrated Vector Management as an alternative way of combating these diseases), so the indoor residual spraying indicator is of particular interest to me.

What’s your favorite way to access The DHS Program’s data?  You can’t go wrong with the Spatial Data Repository (SDR) and STATCompiler!

What population or health issue are you most passionate about?  Why?  I’ve been most fascinated and passionate about studying tuberculosis (TB), given that it’s been around for so long and yet continues to be such a burden all over the world.  With few exceptions, I focused almost all of my projects during grad school (including my final thesis) on studying some aspect of TB.  Since there’s so much overlap between TB and other diseases (most notably HIV/AIDS), I’ve been trying to familiarize myself further with the HIV/AIDS work done by DHS so that I can get a better understanding of the interplay between these two diseases.

What are you most looking forward to about your new position?  I’m extremely excited that I’ll be working on analytical projects and conducting research as part of my work here, which makes all those late nights in the computer lab during grad school doing analytical projects and conducting research seem just a little bit more worth it in the long run.

What has been your biggest surprise so far?  The incredible amount of support I so routinely receive from everyone in the office as I settle into my position, and the continued opportunities I’m being given to learn new things but also contribute to ongoing projects by applying the skills I’ve brought in.

What do you look forward to bringing to The DHS Program (job-related or not!)? A public health-centric GIS perspective, an unhealthy obsession with food (did I mention it at least three times already in this post?), an even less healthy obsession with superheroes and cars, and a nearly endless supply of optimism and sarcasm (could this be any more cliché?).

Written by The DHS Program

The Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) Program has collected, analyzed, and disseminated accurate and representative data on population, health, HIV, and nutrition through more than 400 surveys in over 90 countries. The DHS Program is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). Contributions from other donors, as well as funds from participating countries, also support surveys. The project is implemented by ICF.

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Anthropometry measurement (height and weight) is a core component of DHS surveys that is used to generate indicators on nutritional status. The Biomarker Questionnaire now includes questions on clothing and hairstyle interference on measurements for both women and children for improved interpretation.