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UCL events news and reviews


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

By news editor, on 13 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


Is gender making us sick

By news editor, on 2 July 2013

pencil-icon Written by James Smiths, Global Health & Development MSc student at the UCL Institute for Global Health

At a recent symposium, Dr Sarah Hawkes, co-author of the recent ‘Gender and global health: evidence, policy, and inconvenient truths’, presented a compelling argument that gender is a significant, yet misunderstood, determinant of health.


Dr Jenny Parkes (Institute of Education) and
Dr Julian Walker (UCL Bartlett Development Planning Unit)

It is well known that health disparities exist between men and women. A quick glance at the latest World Health Organisation figures reveals that only three countries report a higher life expectancy for men than for women: Qatar, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

Other high-profile research such as the 2012 Global Burden of Disease study identified that the most common diseases disproportionately affect men.

In order to avoid confusion, the panelists and members of the audience were quick to note that health programmes focusing on women and girls clearly play an important role, in light of the significant impact that gender inequalities have on girls and women.

However, these programmes are complementary to, but not fully representative of, efforts to promote gender equity in health. (more…)

The planet won’t be habitable in five years if we see five degree warming

By news editor, on 21 February 2013

pencil-iconWritten by Helen Fry, Research Assistant, UCL Institute for Global Health

1“The planet won’t be habitable in five years if we see a five degree increase in average temperatures,” warned Professor Sir John Beddington at the opening of UCL’s Global Food Security Symposium.

Sir John, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, outlined two critical global challenges: a population that will increase to 9 billion by 2043, and temperature changes that leave us at an ever higher risk of extreme weather events, such as floods and droughts.

These issues exist on top of current food, water and energy insecurity: hundreds of millions go hungry, lack access to safe water and do not have enough electricity.

Will countries stop emitting carbon? Sir John doesn’t think so. Fuels such as shale oil and gas in the United States have too significant an impact on their economy. Instead, apologising for his negative outlook on the prospects of climate change, he turned to solutions in addressing food security, identifying climate smart technology and sustainable agriculture as two important tools.

Sir John’s talk was followed by a panel debate with Professor Mark Maslin (UCL Geography), Dr Sidip Mitra (Jawaharlal Nehru University, India) and Professor Richard Kock (Royal Veterinary College). Highlights included Professor Maslin describing Gross Domestic Product as an “awful measure of a country” and Professor Kock warning that vegetarianism as the solution to climate change is “fraught with false premise”.


Aid for Health simulation

By news editor, on 17 December 2012

UCL students and staff taking part in the ‘Aid
for Health’ negotiations at the Institute for
Global Health

Written by Rebecca Seglow Hudson (BSc Anthropology undergraduate).

UCL’s Institute for Global Health (IGH) was the site of some heated negotiations on Saturday 8 December.

A collection of 72 students, with an enormous range of experience and disciplinary backgrounds, spent the day simulating the discussions behind international aid deals.

Students represented organisations such as the World Bank, USAID, UNICEF and governmental departments of the simulation country, Malawi. Three parallel simulations took place in three separate rooms, with each room reaching a different conclusion on the use of the $200 million that donors were offering to improve Malawi’s health system.