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About our Conference and Global Health

“In the face of today’s challenges of poverty, inequities, diseases and epidemics there is an increased demand for dynamic health leaders with sound ... skills”
-Dr. Lee Jong-Wook, Former Director General, WHO
Transcending Borders Towards Global Health is a thought stimulating conference, convening leaders, changemakers, and participants from all areas of global health. The conference is set to engage stakeholders through a critical and integrated assessment of the state of global health as well as the policies and actions taken to reduce disparities in global health and unacceptable levels of poor health framed within our five key themes.

Conference Mission

This conference,intends to build on previous Global Health concepts, but also, more specifically aims to:

  • Integrate the need for those interested in global health to also be engaged in matters concerning the links between health and education, equity, poverty, the environment and development.

  • Identify significant links between these concepts through discussions, concept building, and the addressing of questions within our central theme areas.

  • Actively engage participants in discussion to create linkages and partnerships which will lead to co-operative action to solve global health problems both locally and internationally through collaboration.

Central Themes

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What is Global Health

Global Health is an area of study, research, and practice that transcends national and regional borders by recognizing the health of populations, in all manners of cultural and ethnic diversity, within the global context. Global Health focuses on worldwide efforts to improve the health of populations, especially the poor, reduce disparities in health and treatment, increase access and care, and protect against global health threats. Global Health is transdisciplinary in nature and emphasizes health issues, determinants of health and global solutions through cooperative action.

The Importance of Global Health

As health inequalities transcend national borders and widespread health concerns move beyond political boundaries, the field of global health has increasingly captured the attention of decision makers to promote it as a worthwhile field of study, research and practice1. Disparities in health perpetuate and provide opportunities for increasing the risks of epidemics, intensifying poverty and political conflict. Within the context of world health inequalities and global interconnectedness, there is a need for medical students and residents to access global health training in order to understand current global health practices and to improve the standardization of global health education within the field of medicine2. By expanding into more integrated global health curriculums the opportunity to build and foster a healthier global community and foster competencies in cross-cultural communication and interaction is offered. This is especially important as Canada’s immigrant and refugee populations continue to grow and as the Canadian population becomes more culturally and ethnically diverse, medical students and professionals must also become more aware of global health issues and internal disparities in health within their own regions.
Global Health has become so important that there is a push in many academic and professional circles throughout the world to ensure that all, especially students, have a basic understanding of key global health issues. The importance of cross-cultural, cross-border, transdisciplinary global health initiatives and education thus, cannot be overstated.

Why Global Health Should Matter to You

Although you may think that your health is a personal matter, it is not. A health issue in New York has the ability to influence someone walking through downtown Vancouver; a breakout of e-coli in Quebec can influence health systems all over the country and beyond. We truly live in a globalized and increasingly interconnected world where one’s health and the instances of sickness abide by no geographic, socio-economic or political boundary. The importance of global health is that those health programmes and initiatives developed in one place, by one team, can lead to ideas and solutions in another. The solution found to one health risk in one corner of our world can make a significant impact worldwide - we are all working together not only to understand critical health issues but also to solve them. The importance of global health is you step out of the door, as you travel on the street car, as your plane lands in another country, global health and its influence are far-reaching.

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