Recap to a Successful Community Day on Day Two of Our Annual Global Health Talk 2022 With Ten Sessions.
This year’s Community Day on 6 July 2022 finally brought together our Global Health Hub Germany members at the Umweltforum in Berlin. After exclusively virtual community meetings during the past two years, this was the first event featuring our Hub Communities on-site in a personal setting, creating a space for trusting relationships as the basis for effective collaboration among different stakeholder groups.
Hub Communities aim to promote knowledge exchange, diverse perspectives, joint learning and the development of Community products, such as policy recommendations or collection of best practices. Global Health Hub Germany members are encouraged to join Communities of their choice to participate in in-depth conversations about specific topics they agreed upon. Through this, the Hub helps to expand and strengthen Germany’s cross-sectoral global health network.
Based on the initiative of members themselves, the Hub launched or re-launched three Communities this year: the Global Health and Migration Community, the Non-Communicable Diseases Community and Digital Health Empowerment Community.
Ten out of the 13 active Hub Communities participated in the Community Day. Next to the highlights featured in this article, you can also find more information about all Hub Communities and their goals here.
The NCD Community was launched earlier this year in collaboration with the Centre for Global Health of the Technische Universität München (TUM). The group developed a strong agenda for the next months. The community session identified the disparity of the burden of diseases and the limited access to health care and treatment as the main issues regarding their focal points. Members aim to focus on mapping of different actors in Germany, who work on the global prevention and treatment of non-communicable diseases such as cancer or diabetes. Next to mapping different stakeholders and collecting information within the group, they will also work on publishing an interdisciplinary and multisectoral opinion paper as a first effort of this new community.
Global Health and Migration
The global health and migration community discussed local aspects of Global Health and highlighted the paradox and discrepancies regarding migrant health in Germany. Participants raised three focus areas for improvement for global health interventions. First, the culture/language diversity needs to be included in training of medical staff, nurses, pharmacists and dental practitioners. Second, translation services should be available to the patient, including how to use and identify them. And third, migrants could be trained to become cultural brokers and participate in a change from within.
Next steps of the Community include the expansion of the Migrant Kaleidoscope Project, a series of interviews with migrants, which aims to change the narrative of migration and present it as a chance. The Kaleidoscope will also include concrete r policy recommendations and expose the costs of the status quo.
Digital Health Empowerment
The newly formed Community on digital health empowerment discussed challenges for digital health in Germany. The topic of digital health literacy emerged as a key topic in Germany and other countries. Challenges include access for patients to digital health and identifying information that is reliable, and for authorities to use the right channels and terminologies to reach patients. The Community decided as a next step to identify successful pilots on digital health literacy in different countries and develop recommendations for further pilots to be developed in Germany and beyond. The Community chose mental health and pandemic preparedness as thematic focus of the group.
Climate Change and Health
With the observation that multiple health threats arise directly from climate change the session’s participants specifically talked about the question whether an economic system itself poses health threats. Overall, changes in weather and heat waves as health risk factors and the danger of limited food supplies and shortages are apparent and direct factors to impact global health. Still, social factors such as migration must be taken into consideration as a lot of areas will no longer be inhabitable due to climate change. The participants posed the question of what specific measures can be taken to stop the cycle. The need to support leadership and youth empowerment on all continents was raised. While climate change and health are broad and complex issues, the group agreed on the need to be specific in their future work.
Neglected Tropical Diseases
The NTD community shared their knowledge about outbreak patterns, historical data and the Early Warning, Alert and Response System (EWARS) to predict outbreaks and to be prepared for an unexpected number of diseases in the future. The tool is a system to predict outbreak to climate change in advance. It is not based on a statistical tool; instead, it can assist governments at all levels to improve their coordination. The goal is to align the system with programs already existing today, while the access to reliable data on surveillance is very limited. The Community emphasized the challenges of data availability, training and the necessary infrastructure to use EWARS’ full potential.
90% of Participants Were Satisfied With the Community Sessions
The survey conducted on the Community Day revealed success: 81% of all participants stated that they were able to broaden their perspectives and 66% responded that they will be able to apply the learnings to their work context. Generally, over 90% stated that they liked or very much liked the content of the sessions and that they are likely or very likely to attend another community session in the future.
The Hub Communities have planned to engage in a joint project on the issue of “Global Mental Health and Wellbeing”, led by the Global Mental Health Community.
Would you like to find out more about the Hub Communities or become a member of the Global Health Hub Germany? Find out more here.