From July to September 2018, 38 young and emerging researchers, decision-makers, health system professionals and social changemakers took part in the online training of the Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) blended training programme. The distance learning was followed by a much-awaited face-to-face phase where the Emerging Voices had the chance to interact in person.
The face-to-face training took place in Liverpool from end of September to 5 October. The “Emerging Voices” (EVs) first presented their abstracts at the pre-conference to young researchers and other changemakers on 6 October at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and later attended the 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. The EV pre-conference was an opportunity for the Emerging Voices 2018 to showcase their work, challenges and ideas. In the presence of public health professionals, researchers and civil society experts, the EVs made poster and oral presentations of their research results during six thematic sessions and the closing plenary. Subjects included community health systems, private sector engagement, key challenges in the health SDG era at global and national level.
The 2018 cohort of Emerging Voices included a number of ITM alumni, thanks to travel grants from the Belgian Development Cooperation. Amongst them Kéfilath Bello from Benin, who questioned whether social media can be the future of health communication by focusing on lessons from the Saga Santé-initiative in Francophone Africa. Okikiolu Badejo tackled the issue of inter-professional rivalry in healthcare in Nigeria. Guillermo Hegel showcased how a city like Villa Nueva (Guatemala) engages health-in-all policies to improve Primary Health Care. Veronica Osorio Calderon focused on gender equality in healthcare access during health emergencies.
The pre-conference proved to be an excellent and challenging platform for researchers and health systems professionals to network and learn from fellow public health practitioners. The EVs shared research results, tackled often under-reported issues, showcased innovating best practices and collaborations and raised their voice for a more equitable world.
ITM alumni look back on their EV-experience:
Okikiolu Badejo (Nigeria): The EV4GH programme is one of its kind and I have never seen anything like it. It exceeded all my expectations. I got to enter into a community of continual learners, innovators and thinkers. Thanks to ITM for letting me in the EV4GH space.”
Kéfilath Bello (Benin): "With the EV training, I've learnt a lot about the main topics of HSR2018. I improved my skills regarding the different formats for disseminating my research work. But most importantly, the EV programme opened my mind and made me realise that I can work with people coming from any part of the world. This gave a bigger dimension to my career plan."
Veronica Osorio Calderon (Bolivia): “The EV programme was a great eye opener for me as I learnt more about health issues that I am usually not exposed to but are really important. The network of young and vibrant Emerging Voices is fascinating; it feels like there is are no boundaries anymore and we can work together despite the different backgrounds and contexts.”
Gloria Nenita Velasco (Philippines): “Having recently completed my Master’s at ITM, and now being an official alumna of the Emerging Voices programme, I am humbled, grateful and excited to have collaborated with such a quirky and intelligent group of kindred spirits that are just as determined to improve the lives of others. I leave for the Philippines feeling inspired and hopeful, and excited for future collaborations with my EV family!"
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