Broad spectrum of global health issues presented

Refugee health, surgery, mental health at the global level and the UN’s global targets. These topics and much more were on the agenda when the International Medical Programme and LiU hosted a one-day seminar on global health.

The introductory lecture of the day for global health was given by Ruhije Hodza-Beganovic, director of International Medical Program. Photo: Susanna Lönnqvist.

We need an up-to-date picture of the problems facing global health, as they are constantly changing. Migration patterns, refugee flows and different international policies all affect global health. Moreover, in recent years, more and more people have been affected by the consequences of climate and environmental change.

“The needs have changed over the years, and new types of diseases have appeared. Today infectious diseases aren’t the only threat to global health,” says Ruhije Hodza-Beganovic, head of LiU’s International Medical Programme, in her opening lecture.

To address these changing needs, we need an interdisciplinary approach and active collaboration across boundaries – between professions as well as physical regions.
“Research and education is vital if we are to meet the needs from outside the traditional healthcare sector,” she added.

At the seminar, doctors and researchers presented activities and projects that demonstrated the broad spectrum of fields that are included in the term ‘global health’, such as global surgery during war, initiatives for better mental health in low-income countries, the effects of refugee reception on municipal finances and antibiotic resistance. This was the first time the seminar was held, and nearly one hundred participants attended. They hope that it will become a regular event.

“We want to take advantage of the expertise that exists in the region, and create a platform for knowledge exchange in the field of global health, and also to advance the internationalisation of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences,” says Peter Berggren, research coordinator for the International Medical Programme.


Andreas Wladis, professor in Disaster Medicine at LiU.Andreas Wladis, professor in Disaster medicine at LiU talked about surgery in a global perspective, and the requisites for surgery under crisis and time of war. Photo: Susanna Lönnqvist.

Professor Peo Hansen, REMESOThe public consumtion and investments made by the municipalities in connection with reception of refugees will continue to support the economical growth, said professor Peo Hansen, REMESO. Photo: Susanna Lönnqvist.

About the International Medical Programme:

The International Medical Programme aims to increase awareness and knowledge of global health and global health problems, and the programme has two goals. The first is to identify the costs for healthcare in Region Östergötland, for people with refugee status who are entitled to payments from the Swedish Migration Agency. The second is to develop and administer exchange projects between Region Östergötland and low- and middle-income countries. Currently the region has collaborations with five countries in the Balkans and Africa, and has plans for Rumania and Nepal. This year there are 12 projects underway, involving close to 70 people from Region Östergötland.

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