Global health leaders from around the world gathered for the third Global Health Institutional Partnership Network Meeting last week in Kunshan, China, where the new Duke Kunshan University (DKU) is located. Building on the charge from the inaugural Network meeting in the fall of 2012 – improving health and reducing health disparities worldwide while advancing global health education and fostering global health research collaborations – network partners reported on progress on a number of fronts from the past two years.
Seventeen students representing multiple Duke University disciplines from business to engineering to theology comprise DGHI’s student council for the 2014-2015 academic year. These elected members are undergraduates majoring and minoring in global health, medical students and graduate students pursuing the Master of Science in Global Health degree. They will work to share student concerns and successes with DGHI administration. During their monthly meetings, the student council discusses student interests in global health, reviews the institute’s activities, identifies new global health programs, and participates in the institute’s work to ensure DGHI programs meet the needs of the student body.
Nearly 200 One Health researchers from around the world gathered at the inaugural International Symposium on One Health Research (ISOHR) at Guangzhou, China this past weekend. This two-day event, co-hosted by Duke Global Health Institute, featured research presentations that highlighted One Health themes, promoted student research and initiated collaborations with surrounding institutions.
One Health is an initiative promoting collaboration between multiple disciplines working locally, nationally, and globally, to attain optimal health for people, animals, and our environment. This initiative has been a focal point of DGHI’s training since 2003.
On Friday morning, officials at Kilimanjaro Christian Medical University College (KCMU College) in Moshi, Tanzania, dedicated the third floor to DGHI Associate Director for Research, John Bartlett. Among those who prepared words of gratitude to Bartlett was Ahaz Kulanga, the deputy vice provost, Bishop Shao, the Chair of the Board of Trustees, and members of the KCMC-Duke Medical Education Partnership Initiative (MEPI). Members of the KCMC Board of Trustees and the Kilimanjaro Christian Medical Centre (KCMC) leadership were also in attendance. Speakers at the event commemorated Bartlett’s dedication to KCMC with a plaque on the third floor and a cane to symbolize his wisdom and the respect his Tanzanian colleagues have for him.
Michael Merson, director of DGHI, joined Amsterdam city officials, representatives from Dutch universities and other organizations working in global health, and corporate partners in celebrating the official launch of the Amsterdam Health & Technology Institute (AHTI). Merson was one of four featured speakers at the signing ceremony, which included a formal introduction by the vice-mayor and was covered in the Dutch media. AHTI was founded in response to a call from the City of Amsterdam for local universities and prominent Dutch corporations to come together with a common goal of improving the health of the city. The decentralization of healthcare in the Netherlands identifies the challenges faced by the population which are primarily created from people living longer and the costs of medical care increasing. The creation of AHTI will have a specific focus on technology to create sustainable and innovative solutions to these challenges.
On Monday, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) welcomed its founders, Duke University, Wuhan University, and Kunshan City, and distinguished guests to celebrate in the official launch of DKU. A formal ceremony dedicated this 750,000-square-foot campus which marries traditional Chinese architectural methods and modern technological design to create a setting where each building was specifically designed to fit the Kunshan climate.
DGHI Assistant Research Professor Catherine Staton (Lynch) led a candlelight vigil Sunday night in honor of The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims (WDR). The Duke road injuries community attended this inaugural event—one of four nationally recognized events for WDR—to create awareness of road traffic injuries here in Durham and in developing countries. World Day of Remembrance generates awareness not only about the victims of road traffic injuries but also about the families and communities affected by road deaths and injuries. Road traffic injuries are the leading cause of death for young people aged 15-29, and each year sees more deaths especially in developing countries. WRD provides an opportunity to reflect upon this global burden and discuss how each person can help educate his or her own community.
More than 200 students traveled from Brazil, Nepal, China, and many other countries to gather at Duke University for the 2014 Universities Allied for Essential Medicines (UAEM)conference organized by the Duke undergraduate chapter of UAEM. Throughout the two-day conference, students in fields ranging from economics to public health to law discussed the many issues related to securing access to medicine by all people, regardless of their location in the world.
Less than one week after Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke University (SEAD) issued the Duke Ebola Innovation Challenge, interdisciplinary teams of Duke students responded with specific solutions to the challenges of fighting Ebola in West Africa and beyond. This opportunity brought together medical students with public policy students and engineering students with business students allowing each team’s varied background to bring fresh, collaborative perspectives to fighting Ebola. Students attended a series of workshops hosted by SEAD, Sanford Public Policy School, and DGHI, after which 22 interdisciplinary teams submitted their ideas.
Mary Story PhD RD, professor in Community and Family Medicine and Global Health at Duke University and DGHI associate director for academic programs, was awarded the 2014 Bar-Or Award for Excellence in Pediatric Obesity Research at Obesity Week in Boston, Mass. last week. She was nominated for this distinguished national award for her work on childhood obesity prevention. Upon receiving her award, Story delivered a presentation to Obesity Society members on the progress, pitfalls, and future directions of child obesity prevention.