Health and Medicine

Symposium addresses global health

Health care delivery and elimination of malaria are recurring themes for these scholars.

Collage image of Michael Herce's headshot next to Jon Juliano's headshot set next to a Carolina Blue frame.
Michael Herce and Jon Juliano say the 2nd Annual Global Health Scholars Symposium is open to anybody interested in global health. (Image courtesy of University Communications)

The UNC Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases and the UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health presents a  Feb. 16, featuring research from global sites around the world.

“We invite anyone interested in global health studies and practice to join us as we introduce an impressive array of global health research,” said , associate director of education for the institute and the associate dean for global health at Gillings. “ reflect many new insights and solutions for illness and disease that will help shape the future of practice.”

The 2nd Annual Global Health Scholars Symposium will showcase the work of 43 scholars through research presentations and dynamic exchanges. Two recurring themes will focus on innovation in healthcare delivery and efforts to understand and eliminate malaria. Dr. explains.

How do we get what we know works to the people that haven’t had access to it, and prove that it can be done?

This question applies to COVID in North Carolina just as much as it does the treatment and prevention of HIV in sub-Saharan Africa. As COVID taught us, you can have the best vaccine, but that doesn’t mean people are going to get the vaccine if they don’t trust the healthcare system or have never had access to health care.

This is what we think about and study as global health researchers, often using tools from implementation science to address global health inequities. Sometimes this might involve using task-shifting to empower local community health workers to do more during a patient encounter. Or, it could mean a new model of service delivery, for example, that reaches more women engaged in sex work by taking pre-exposure prophylaxis for HIV out of the clinic, to places where women meet their clients, like brothels or bars.

What will we learn about healthcare delivery in global health?

Breakout sessions will introduce a variety of studies that identify the barriers and the facilitators to delivering health services for major global health problems, along with new strategies to bring critical services to the people who need them most. From identifying missed opportunities to screen for cancer, to making better use of clinic data to improve malaria treatment, these sessions will explore the lived experiences of the people we serve globally at UNC and new approaches to improve their health.

The future of global health delivery can best be described as having someone who you know and trust provide you the best care possible, how and when you prefer to receive it, no matter where you live in the world. Research in implementation science and global health delivery is based on reciprocal innovation and partnership, so that knowledge flow is bidirectional, and this includes bringing innovations in practice back to the U.S. to improve healthcare in North Carolina.