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A thorn in the side: launch of the UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health

GuestBlogger6 March 2017

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By Dr Geordan Shannon, UCL Institute for Global Health 

UCL is known for challenging the status quo. It was with this sentiment that the UCL Centre for Gender and Global Health was officially launched on the 16th February 2017.

Led by Professor Sarah Hawkes, the centre will reach beyond academia to work with policy-makers and policy-influencers to address the complex relationship between gender and health.

A global community of change makers and thought leaders converged to discuss innovations in gender and global health research. The daylong event included keynotes, interactive panels, film screenings, Q&A sessions and a networking reception.

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Images: Ilan Kelman ilankelman.org

Keynotes

The keynote panellists spoke about key challenges to gender and global health research, policy and action.

Rachel Jewkes, the Director of the South African Medical Research Council’s Gender and Health Research Unit, shared new directions in gender-based violence interventions and highlighted feminist approaches to resilience.

Benno de Keijzer, Professor of Health and Masculinities at Universidad Veracruzana and co-founder of the NGO Salud y Género, challenged the concept of hegemonic masculinity and how it relates to both men’s and women’s wellbeing.

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UCL Populations & Lifelong Health Domain Symposium 2017

GuestBlogger20 January 2017

pencil-iconWritten by Emmeline Brown, MRes Translational Neurology, UCL Institute of Neurology

We must “recognise the myriad of influences on what makes us sick and what makes us healthy” began Professor Dame Anne Johnson, welcoming attendees to this symposium at the UCL Great Ormond Street Institute of Child Health.

Professor Dame Johnson pointed to UCL’s history of pioneering and expanding a transdisciplinary approach, emphasising the role of preventative measures and the need to provide research that can be used by policy-makers.

(Re)building healthier cities
Professor Michael Davies and Professor David Osrin, presenting the keynote session, discussed the need to understand the interactions between ‘soft’ (economic and social) and ‘hard’ (engineered) urban systems, in order to tackle the multiple challenges arising from globalisation.

Professor Osrin highlighted community participation in Mumbai, where he has been based since 2004: community women’s groups there who discussed issues, came up with solutions and implemented them achieved a 30% reduction in rural newborn deaths.

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We heard extensively from early and mid-career researchers. Dr Evangelia Chrysikou described her work in exploring the exteriors of mental health facilities in Camden and the effects of these on stigmatisation. Dr Jens Kandt spoke about his research classifying neighbourhoods by multiple characteristics to develop an integrated perspective on urban health; and Marios Poullas described his study into the effects of El Nino Southern Oscillation on public health in India.

Digital Health

Andrew Eland, Engineering Director of Artificial Intelligence company DeepMind, began with the potential of digital tools in health innovations.

He had many insights into the use of deep learning to improve the efficiency of hospitals, which would not be possible with cumbersome paper medical files. He also spoke of the concurrent need to gain public trust in use of data through greater security and transparency.

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Does gender make you sick?

newseditor18 December 2013

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Written by Thea Cassel (UCL Geography 2012), Communications Assistant at UCL

Of the multiple meanings that the lecture title alludes to, Dr Sarah Hawkes (Institute for Global Health) addressed the problems of targeting just one half of the population in relation to global health.

Why, when using the term ‘gender’, do businesses and health organisations actually mean women? And why, when looking at policy responses to global health, do they focus on the group that is in reality the least at risk?

The first thing that struck me as I looked around the lecture theatre was the good turnout of both men and women, as well as a large gaggle of teenagers attending on a school trip.

Does gender make you sick?From previous experience, the mention of the word ‘gender’ quickly equates to just ‘women’ and more often than not it is predominantly women who take an interest in the subject – an issue that was subsequently tackled in the lecture. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, to see a large number of men in the audience.

The lecture began with Dr Hawkes looking back at her initial interest in gender analysis from her work in Bangladesh, where she worked for the largest research organisation in a developing country. (more…)

UCL-Lancet Lecture 2013 – Charity does not rhyme with sustainability

newseditor13 November 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Sujitha Selvarajah, a third year medical student, currently doing an intercalated BSc in Global Health.

“My target is not my grandchild, my target is the child of the poorest woman in Rwanda,” said Rwanda’s Minister of Health, Dr Agnes Binagwaho at the 2013 Lancet Lecture on 6 November.

UCL Lancet Lecture

Dr Agnes Binagwaho and Dr Richard Horton

Less than 20 years ago, the Rwandan Genocide saw 10 percent of the population wiped out in 100 days. Since then, life expectancy has trebled with more than a million Rwandans no longer living in poverty.

Dr Binagwaho credits five principles as the pillars underpinning Rwanda’s ‘miracle’:
1. Ownership
2. Equity
3. Science
4. Participation
5. Sustainability

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