What I learned from the Global Ideas Forum
If you have taken on biostatistics, epidemiology and a cocktail of MPH electives, probably you may feel like I do that you owe the world your skills. Probably you share with me that burning and overwhelming sense of responsibility and optimism to take on global health problems. Yet, I’m acutely aware of the challenges and uncertainties that come with the changing political environment as nations bloc together to foster trade and diplomacy. I’m not lost to shrinking investments on foreign aid for health. Obviously there are unanswered questions on how we can sustain the momentum and progress made by the MDGs in the post-2015 era.
At the Global Ideas Forum this weekend, some of the answers began to emerge. If we have the data to generate information we can prioritize our health problems, facilitate health policymaking and measure our progress. With powerful story telling we can raise our voices and become upstream agents of change. Using social enterprise we can mobilize resources to for change at the grassroots. Mobile communication can now be used as a powerful tool to break down barriers to accessible and affordable health care. However, some simple solutions seem elusive as we contend with the political determinants of health that have made live saving medicines and commodities out of reach to the world’s poorest populations and still fuel unhealthy lifestyles.
This weekend, along with fellow global health enthusiast we shared the reality of the post 2015 agenda setting going on around us. We voted on the sustainable development goals. Health made it to our top three priorities. That reinforced my hope that our generation is indeed passionate on keeping health on the global agenda for the next 15 years. Yes, the forum mobilized a critical mass of people and equipped them with the knowledge and skills needed to push ahead on the post 2015 sustainable development goals.