WHAT CORBIS HOPES TO ACCOMPLISH
Through the unprecedented impact of digital media, young people from all walks of life and corners of the world are becoming increasingly globally aware. Through the reporting of often tragic narratives and catastrophic events taking place around the world, we are made all the more aware of the significant role of health and healthcare provision in the wider frame of social equity and justice. Although many dispute its core definition, at its roots, Global Health serves to act as a catalyst in bringing people and their causes together.
Despite increasing recognition from an increasingly diverse audience, Global Health matters continue to be addressed from a relatively traditional biomedical platform, whereby often strategies and agendas are not only medically led, but fail to acknowledge the wider importance of incorporating the inputs of neighbouring fields and communities towards achieving mutually agreeable outcomes for all parties involved. Indeed a core theme, weaved into the DNA of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, places an emphasis on cross-sector involvement to tackle familiar challenges such as global maternal and child mortality through to tackling the effects of climate change. Notwithstanding the rise of contemporary student groups and institutions aimed at addressing Global Health affairs, it is evident across university campuses and sectors alike, that wider access and participation into Global Health must continue to be promoted and advocated for.
It took as recently as 2015 for the international health community to formally recognise the need to change how health matters are addressed, moving away from a traditional biomedical model and closer towards a more encompassing and collective biopsychosocial agenda. Despite the range of valid criticisms, the Sustainable Development Goals are, in part, conceptually progressive in terms of granting promise for Universal Health Coverage through means of a more inclusive multi-disciplinary strategy. It is absolutely imperative that as a community we reflect this in the composition of young people starting out their careers in Global Health, dedicating themselves to contributing towards achieving health equality in their own respective capacity.
Efforts to address the issue manifested in hosting the inaugural Global Health and Development Conference at the University of Sussex in April of last year. The event drew upon the outstanding enthusiasm of both students, faculty and our partner institutions acting as a rostrum for voicing the health concerns of those drowned out by politically dominated agendas and improvident targets. There was a great deal of insightful discussion ranging from the financing and accountability of footing global health costs, to tackling the emerging threat of global antimicrobial resistance among many other salient issues.
But most importantly, with over 70% of delegates in attendance from backgrounds in the social sciences, humanities and development sector, and less than a fifth from orthodox medical backgrounds, we have succeeded in both demonstrating a broad-based appetite for engaging in Global Health affairs and providing a nucleus for students and young professionals that may otherwise find themselves unsure of how to approach and understand their position in the field.
Through Corbis, we hope to continue to build an accessible platform for the development of individuals at fledgling stages of their global health careers. The upcoming 2017 event seeks to build on last year’s success, and will take place on the 18th and 19th March. Featuring over 50 speakers from a wide range of global health backgrounds, we hope to continue acting as a sounding board for important yet neglected health matters, as echoed in our theme, ‘Professional Blind Spots in the Global Agenda’.
Our three main aims are as follows:
To host the Global Health and Development Conference at the University of Sussex on an annual basis, showcasing the leading contemporary thinking, approaches and best practice in tackling global health and development challenges.
To foster a more cohesive, multi-disciplinary, student-staff Global Health Community at the University of Sussex, BSMS and Brighton area engaging with partners in the wider health and development sector.
To contribute towards practical change in the Global Health and Development fields and thus encouraging and providing opportunities for professional and career development for undergraduate and postgraduate students with Global Health interests.