Report on the Global Health Conference 2017: One world, One Health
by June Agamah, MPH
UIS Public Health Department Collaborative Impact
At the UIS Department of Public Health, the month of October has been a busy one for our Faculty and staff. Members of our department were deployed to rub shoulders with other professionals in the field of public health. I represented the department by attending the first of its kind, in Springfield, Global Health conference held on Thursday, October 19, 2017, at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation (MCLI). The conference was well attended by 80 -85 people, most of which worked in the healthcare field. There were several poster boards made by medical students to show results of research that they conducted with other faculty members of the SIU Medical School of Medicine and Department of Pediatric Critical Care and Surgery.
This conference was special in many ways. First, it was a collaborative effort between the SIU School of Medicine Faculty, other guests from the department of Surgery, Family & Community Medicine, the Division of Plastic Surgery, Orthopedic and a representative from UIS Department of Public Health and Hospital Sisters Mission Outreach, Springfield, IL. Second, the objectives of the program addressed a number of elements of what we seek to do, as public health practitioners. Third, most of the presenters had first-hand experience with what it means to be born into communities and environments where lack of access to basic health care and education, poor-resourced and beau acratic governments were and still remains the norm.
The topics covered were: “Planned and Unplanned Disaster Relief: An International Perspective” by Dr. Jagannathan Srinivasaraghavan.
“Global Health Outreach with Medical Students: Where we have been and Where We are Going” by Dr. Careyana M. Brenham.
“UIS Public Health Students’ International Program” by Dr. Kamau Kemayo, PhD.
“Providing Rich Clinical Experiences for US Medical Students and Doctors in Rural Ghana” by Dr. Edem S. Agamah.
“The Challenges of Setting Up a PICU Where None Exists” by Dr. Sangita Basnet.
“Bridging the Medical Divide-The Nigeria Experience” by Dr. Osaretin B. Idusuyi.
“International Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: Expanding the Continuum of Care” by Dr. Michael W. Neumeister.
“Global Health and Infectious Disease: HIV, Hepatitis, and MDR Pathogens” by Dr. Janak Koirala.
“Equipped to Service: Resources for Medical Missions” by Georgia Winson.
At the end of the presentations, there was a 20-minute panel discussion. There were some lively discussions about whether there is such a thing as “brain drain’, since most doctors and professionals from resource-limited, poor countries leave their homeland and practice medicine abroad?
At the end of the program, the following objectives were met:
- We learned how important it is to define the purpose of an international medical trip and maintain the scope of the trip.
- They described how common legal/ethical/religious issues related to these mission trips and how to solve them.
- They articulated how to develop/maintain funding for international medical mission trips.
- Described how to maintain the safety of the medical personnel while traveling.
- Describes how to transition from abundant technology to limited technology.
- Described the public health impact from natural disasters, while dealing with immediate and protracted issues.
- Described the prevalence and global burden of HIV, viral hepatitis and MDR pathogens.
- Described the management of these conditions in resource limited settings.
- Outlined the WHO ethical guidelines for donated supplies and equipment.
- Describe the financial savings available through use of quality donated products and guidelines for providing medical supplies and other commodities after a natural disaster.
- Described the structure and function of the healthcare delivery system in Sub-Saharan Africa.
- Identified the major impediments to quality medical care.