Success at first student-led global health conference

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Posted on 21 June 2018

A team of medical students led their first global health challenges conference on the 21st April, which was supported by the Research Institute, welcoming approximately 70 delegates from various disciplines. 

The conference was a student-led project which aimed to identify the outlook of Global Health at Keele and provided a practical toolkit to engage with global health issues and provide healthcare equity for all. 

Delegates included undergraduate and postgraduate students, public health practitioners, clinicians, and key members of various organisations, which allowed for an engaging multidisciplinary event. With a programme of presentations, debate and photo exhibitions, the event aimed to share experiences and the latest research and techniques being used to overcome global healthcare challenges in the field.  

Keynote speakers shared their experiences and aim of creating equitable healthcare provisions for refugees, with Tirej Brimo and Steven Ali providing moving accounts of their journey from Syria, highlighting the physical and psychological trauma experienced by refugees, and those working with the refugee team. 

All delegates were invited to participate in a lively debate, which discussed ways in which Europe should respond to the refugee crisis. The panel was made up of Jeremy Leffroy, a Member of Parliament for Stafford and past member of the UK government's International Development Committee, Daniel Flecknow, a medical team leader and health promotion specialist for Medecins Sans Frontier, and Tirej Brimo, who was MedScape's 2017 Physician of the Year. 

Overall, the day was a great success, which gave students the opportunity to develop their skills in global health from their perspective. It was also the first step in creating a forum for those who are passionate about development at all stages of their career to address key global health outcomes, and gather world-renowned experts in health and development to inform delegates on up-to-date and evidence-based approaches to achieve global health for all. 

In recognition of all their hard work, Sunna Ali, who led the team of students, was awarded both the 'Volunteer Hero Award' and 'Outstanding Student Contribution Award' at the annual Keele Student Unions Award on Thursday 24th May 2018. The event was also shortlisted as 'Event of the Year'. 

Following on from the event's success, plans are already underway for the next Global Health Challenges event, so keep your eyes peeled.