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Global Health Conference in Charleston

health_conference_in_CharlestonThe Medical University of South Carolina held a two-day conference on global health to discuss partnerships and collaboration around the world.

MUSC hosted the Global Health Symposium from Nov. 3 – 4, 2015. The health conference in Charleston, presented by the school’s Center for Global Health and Department of Public Health Sciences, focused on partnership and collaboration and their importance in combating Ebola and HIV.

The current Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa last year is the biggest one since the virus was discovered, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone have been the most affected by the disease and have been monitored by organizations like the WHO since last year to ensure eradication.

HIV also presents numerous problems for impoverished countries, with 36.9 million people living with HIV (including 2.6 million children) in 2014, according to AVERT. The majority of cases are located in sub-Saharan Africa. Recent progress has been made with the availability of medicine. As of March 2015, 13.5 million affected people in low- and middle-income countries had received treatment.

Both the MUSC Center for Global Health and Department of Public Health Sciences were established to further the research and education of health issues and solutions.

The Center for Global Health is particularly concerned with collaboration for global health, which is why the 2010-2015 Strategic Plan was created. The plan emphasizes the areas of globalization, entrepreneurialism, innovation/technology and interprofessionalism as they relate to health.

Notable attendees of the conference included health experts from Tanzania, India, Croatia, The Ivory Coast, Ethiopia and Kenya, with Dr. Michael Merson as the keynote speaker.

Merson, named the director of Duke University’s new Global Health Institute, has done extensive work in the global health field, including working for the CDC and currently acting as director of the WHO’s global program on AIDS.

The fostering of communication and awareness of new successful techniques are just a couple of benefits to be yielded from holding a conference such as this one. MUSC has made itself a forum for global health discussions between experts both in Charleston and around the world.

Ashley Tressel

Sources: ABC News 4, Global Health, Coursera, WHO
Photo: Flickr