The Global Health collaborative (GHC) held their inaugural Global Health conference at the University of Plymouth on Friday 24 May, with over one hundred delegates attending. The theme was ‘Reciprocal Benefits of Global Health partnerships’.
Using the practice of knowledge exchange, speakers from the University of Salford (Professor Helen Louise Ackers), Cambridge NHS Trust (Sophie Ward), Kings College London (Dr Nick Boyd) and three fellows from Health Education England’s Improving Global Health scheme all came to talk about their experiences of health partnerships and how they differ across regions and schemes.
Fortunately, through internal Global Challenges Research Funding, we were also able to hear first-hand from our overseas partners from Uganda (Ivan Kimuli with Rupert Jones), Kenya (Mary Nduta with Kerri Jones) and Sierra Leone (Amara Fornah with Austin Hunt) as we welcomed them to Plymouth.
These are the three DAC countries where we already have strong and sustainable, long term partnerships in place with local NHS Trusts and through association, we were also able to hear from eight of Professor Ackers’ Commonwealth Health fellows about their quality improvement work in Uganda. The inclusion of our guests ensured the afternoon had a truly equitable feel between ourselves and our partner countries.
After showcasing key GH partnerships from the South West, we then heard from Richard Skone-James of Tropical Health Education Trust about future funding opportunities for continued work in this field.
Alongside the presentations, there was a student global health poster competition and plenty of networking opportunities both over tea and during a workshop session where there were different tables on particular themes. A group of nurses were particularly proactive at suggesting how they would like Plymouth to grasp GH opportunities for the ‘Year of the Nurse’ as declared by the World Health Organisation for 2020.
Delegates also had the opportunity to learn about ‘missing maps’ from former University of Plymouth researcher Rupert Allen and to discuss primary care opportunities to get involved with Dr Ed Parry Jones, the RCGP lead for Africa.
A fun and open atmosphere continued into the evening with a Masanga fundraising event with African drumming, enjoyed by all.