CFHI is very happy to be at theGlobal Health Conference in Hobart, Tasmania that is being put on by theAustralian Medical Students’ Association (AMSA). The conference running 1-4 July has a full academic program with impressive topics and excellent speakers. The entire conference is organized by and for students and the level of professionalism is truly outstanding. CFHI is very happy to be an NGO sponsor here and we find the interest and engagement of the students to be at a very high level. A CFHI alum from Perth, Samantha Mulholland (2009, Pediatric Health, La Paz), has been present and giving her first-hand descriptions of her CFHI experience.
UTAS Site of Global Health Conference Tasmania
The University of Tasmania in Hobart is the site for the conference as some 500 students gather from across Australia and New Zealand, and even from Asia and Africa.
Indeed students all over the world have a growing interest in Global Health. What is refreshing here is that so many of them are deeply informed on world issues, social determinants of health and many other areas. Panels of leading experts, student questions and discussions have all been engaging and enlightening.
Panel discussion at the Global Health Conference Hobart Tasmania July 2010
Today, I had the good fortune to be at the Oregon Student Nurses’ Association Convention 2010 at the University of Portland. CFHI was happy to be one of the sponsors for the event. Approximately 300 nursing students from across the state assembled for their annual meeting. It was a great reminder for me of the importance of nursing in our own healthcare system and it made me think of the pivotal role of nursing in so many of the countries where CFHI works.
CFHI local Medical Directors from Mexico to India have often taken great care to point out to me the specific and vital contribution of nursing in their own healthcare systems. In New Delhi, for example, CFHI Medical Director Dr. Vimarsh Raina has made a great commitment to raising the awareness of the Indian youth to nursing as a career and for advancing the skills of nurses. CFHI has been happy to assist Dr. Raina in providing some scholarships over the years to help make nursing education available to young people who might otherwise not be able to afford such an opportunity. Then, of course, there is our own CFHI Medical Director in Cape Town, South Africa, Mrs. Avril Whate, who herself is a Nurse Practitioner and a Certified Midwife. With an impressive long career in a healthcare system that has faced many significant challenges, she is very adept a helping international students of all health professions process the profound experiences that they have while on CFHI rotations in Cape Town. She actually has the fan club to prove it. Recently, Avril and the CFHI Local Coordinator for Cape Town, Marion Williams, were able to visit the United States. During a multi-city, cross-country tour, there was an outpouring of CFHI alumni –many who are now nurses and doctors— who turned out to welcome and reconnect and to say thanks.
Back to Portland, where today’s convention carried the theme: The Future or Nursing,
The Future of Nursing Oregon Student Nurses Association Convention
and clearly, I was able to meet and talk with a real slice of the future of nursing and I was very happy to see a healthy appetite among them for all things related to Global Health. CFHI’s Global Health Immersion Programs have had many many nursing students over the years and we are happy to welcome the new generation. If the passion, motivation, and commitment I saw today in Portland are any indication of the level of interest in Global Health among today’s nursing students in general, then it is indeed a good day for Global Health.