Meet the President: Israa Fawaz
Why is Global Health important?
- It is important to focus on immediate issues in healthcare; both locally and globally
- Everyone has responsibility on a global level, to improve circumstances as we continue to advance faster than ever
- Things we take for granted are not the case is many parts of the world
- Factors we cannot change should not affect healthcare; background and ethnicity should not affect how long people live
What can we even do as students?
- Students for Global Health Society is a student focused society – to take action, make a change, and get involved from an early stage
- The team makes an active effort to provide opportunities to promote change now; eg. networking events with professionals in the field
What are the main goals for the Society?
- Education as the priority; to learn about global health issues
- Long term ongoing issues – maternal mortality, HIV, women’s health
- Trending current issues – mental health in war torn area
So I went to check out the first event of the year…
Israa had invited 3 speakers to give their take on getting involved with Global Health:
Dr Michael Roe
Prof. Sabu Padmadas
Dr Andrew Mortimore
How did it go?
- First of all, there was food and drink.. so we were already off to a good start!
Initially, we went around networking, finding out students who attended from a range of courses; medicine, nursing and biomedicine to name the most common.
2. We were then introduced to the speakers in the foyer who were prepped beforehand to lead conversations with the crowd which was great.
I ended up spending a good 15 minutes with a small group, listening and speaking to Prof. Sabu Padmadas about the need to be active in Global Health when we have a rapidly growing population but many places still without basic care.
3. This introduction helped us gage an initial idea of the concept and feel more personally involved in the event.
Without further a due, we were summoned to a lecture theatre to allow the speakers to present their talks…
What did I learn?
Global health still only has a small amount of medical professionals taking an active approach.
These speakers had traveled less economically developed countries and Dr Roe in particular mentioned how we have similar problems being tackled here in the UK. This shows that we could all benefit from interacting with the rest of the world to create equal healthcare systems. For example mobile healthcare services have shown us better financial methods to different processes.
Questions cleared from confusion:
Do you need to train for this as a specialty when a doctor?
You can also train for a specialty of your choice and still make time to do global health outreach work alongside your routine work
Do you need to be a doctor?
- Prof. Sabu Padmadas is an epidemiologist who has travelled the globe working for the cause
- One of the most senior positions in the field is held by a nurse
- The answer = no
It was a great way to interact with active professionals in the field as well as peers with an interest for global health from different backgrounds and courses. However, I was sad to learn how small of a field this still seems to be in this day and age which I hope we can start changing for the better as fast as our technology is advancing.
So what can you do to get involved?
If at university: Join a society like this/ start one yourself (now you can use this as a guide for your first event…)
Working in healthcare: Speak to peers to find colleagues working in global health you could speak to discuss your interest
In the community: check out places like Eventbrite for public events (many are free!)