Having spent three great days in Mexico, I have come back with a nice tan, lots of contacts, and an unsatisfied feeling of "so what now..."
I was really impressed by some of the research and volunteer work that students are doing in Central and South America. I enjoyed sharing experiences, exchanging ideas, and developing relationships.
In between informal discussions with students and global health professionals, I experienced several formal talks. Some of the speakers provided useful insight, but most of the talks were descriptive rather prescriptive.
I may be biased writing as a member of the Health Systems ACTION Network, but I prefer doing more than just talking. The conference overall was a success, but I hope that the next GHEC conference will build on the updates and descriptions of global health by providing a platform for taking action.
Interesting take-away points:
- The expansion of social networking into the realm of public health may serve as a useful mechanism to mobilize stakeholders toward change.
- The intersection of seemingly disparate disciplines may provide novel and creative solutions to global health problems that are not being addressed through traditional approaches (for example, doctors should partner with economists, engineers, artists, etc to innovate).
- From a tourist's perspective, Mexico is an amazingly well developed country that shows promising signs of economic strength and strong infrastructure.
I welcome any comments or questions regarding the conference or steps moving forward. The HSAN Student Section is currently developing its plan for the coming couple of years, so please let us know how you would like to take action toward strengthening health systems and improving health globally.
Until the next conference,