The Swedish Global Health Research Conference in Stockholm gathered some 500 participants in April 2018. At the heart of the Swedish Global Health Research Conference 2018 was the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda is underpinned by the idea that we all need to develop in a sustainable way regardless of where we live and where we work, ascertaining that no one is left behind. In our work in research and at universities, we need to consider what this demands of us. How do all of us engaged in global health contribute to improve health for all people, everywhere?
To utilize the 2030 Agenda, protocols for effective collaboration need to be improved, including those interactions between students, researchers and other actors, as well as those between research disciplines and professions. Some of these protocols already exist, and others still need to be developed. Best practices for strengthening interdisciplinary approaches were continuously discussed at the conference.
The main takeaways from the Stockholm conference are summarized in the picture below.
On October 26-27, 2016, sixty-seven representatives from across Sweden, as well as Germany, Finland and Denmark, gathered in Umeå to discuss how to strengthen global health education in Sweden.
The meeting – the first of its kind in Sweden – concluded that there is a great need for more educational activities on global health. While much work remains, there are several good examples in Sweden and internationally, and a strong interest in collaboration to support this important work. The conference was initiated by the Epidemiology and Global Health Unit at Umeå University, in collaboration with the Committee for Global Health of the Swedish Society of Medicine and had as its starting point that: Global health is a key area for education, research and practice both nationally and internationally. High quality Global Health Education is crucial for Sweden’s competitiveness in a globalized world, and ability to contribute to the United Nations’ recently launched 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Through short presentations, interactive workshops and panel discussions, participants from almost all medical faculties in Sweden (all but Örebro), the Swedish Society of Medicine, NGOs and international colleagues from Germany, Finland and Denmark came together to share experiences, initiatives and innovative ideas about global health education.
In the concluding panel discussion with representatives from all participating universities, there was a clear consensus on the need for action to increase global health education at medical faculties in Sweden. Panellists agreed to collaborate and build on international examples, build capacity at faculty level, and combine education with high quality global health research. While the United Nations Agenda 2030 provides a clear mandate, now it is time to secure the leadership, funding, and time needed to continue to build the global health education agenda.