This week, the Duke Global Health Institute is bringing together universities and research institutes from nearly a dozen Asian, African, and European countries to launch a cross-continental network of global health researchers and educators.
Co-sponsored by the Duke Global Health Institute, Shanghai Medical College and Fudan University, the two-day Consultative Meeting on Building Global Health Institutional Partnerships in Shanghai, China marks an important milestone in the field of global health. Researchers and educators attended the meeting from the United States, China, the United Kingdom, Ghana, Hong Kong, Laos, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Uganda and Vietnam.
The global health institutional network will promote and engage the development of global health research and education collaborations in China, Asia and Africa. International partners from other parts of the world will also play a role in facilitating these collaborations. The network will identify research and education gaps and opportunities connected to the UN Millennium Development Goals as a result of growing economies, the changing burden of disease, demographic transitions and health systems.
“It is crucial that we connect with regional neighbors and those living across the globe since we are all unified by a similar mission and have a great deal to learn from one another,” said Randall Kramer, deputy director of the Duke Global Health Institute and a speaker at the opening ceremony today. “We are hopeful and optimistic the network will foster new opportunities to deepen existing collaborations and forge new ones as we tackle the large global health challenges affecting our planet.”
The network seeks to establish exchange programs for students pursuing global health study in China or other Asian or African countries. The bi-directional exchange of students across countries and continents will involve field placements at all levels, from undergraduate students to doctoral students. Other collaborations in education may include opportunities for joint distance learning and sharing of curricula.
Network members will also develop joint research proposals in the areas of maternal and child health, health systems strengthening and non-communicable and infectious diseases, as well as pursue external funding from government, foundation, and philanthropic sources.
Members of the network will be encouraged to share best practices and lessons learned within the network and with policymakers, with the goals of improving public health programs and influencing policy in member countries.
The group plans to organize a global health sub-forum at the 2013 Shanghai FORUM to further promote the collaboration, assess its progress and plan for future years.
“We are hopeful and optimistic the network will foster new opportunities to deepen existing collaborations and forge new ones as we tackle the large global health challenges affecting our planet.”- Randall Kramer, DGHI