Women in Global Health

Women in Global Health – Germany was launched in January 2018 with the support of the Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development, the Ministry of Health, the World Health Summit, and further sponsors. It is the first national chapter of the international organization Women in Global Health with the aim to showcase women’s leadership and improve gender equality in global health on the global and local level.

As Germany is taking on a new leadership role in global health, it seemed to be optimal timing to start a German chapter and to ensure that women not only significantly contribute to this development, but are also equal leaders.

The objectives of the chapter are to increase the visibility of women working in global health, enhance mutual support, advocate for gender equal representation on panels and conferences, establish mentoring programs, promote women’s health, participate in the revision of the global health strategy of the German government and support further countries to start with a network.

Currently, there are more than one hundred women from around 70 different organizations and institutions on the list and in the network.

WGH-GER provides an opportunity for a more effective, inclusive network that brings global to local action, while cultivating local talent for greater national, regional and global voice.

Women in Global Health Germany

The network’s second meeting was hosted by the Center for Global Health at the TUM on December 8th. Many different topics were presented in the morning and discussed further in working group sessions in the afternoon. Topics included “migration and health”, “sexual and reproductive health”, “gender and health”, “Universal Health Coverage (UHC)”, as well as the planned establishment of a Global Health Hub in Germany.

Global Health Round Table

There is a Round Table every three months covering Global Health relevant topics and research fields by means of one or two presentations and a subsequent discussion.

These are the topics that we have covered so far:

Nagwa Elkhafif, expert for immuno electron microscopy research in hepatitis and schistosomiasis at the Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Egypt, presented on past and ongoing anti-hepatitis campaigns in Egypt, the country with the highest infection rate in the world.

Past events

Women on the Move – Migrant Women in the Health Professions

The World Health Organization (WHO) has published a report and a policy brief addressing the issue of female migrant care workers. The goal of both the policy brief and report is to raise awareness of the importance of ensuring migrant workers – who in most cases are women – providing home-based care, are given a legal working status in the receiving country, accompanied by appropriate working conditions and access to health and social services. The project was initiated in 2017 at a meeting in Berlin supported by the Federal Ministry of Health.

Considering the current debate around care provision and the lack of qualified personnel in Germany, a translation of the policy brief was considered to be a valuable contribution to the discussion, highlighting the importance of legal protection and health insurance for the migrant care workers the German population increasingly relies upon. While Germany’s laudable contract regulations with care workers from the Philippines are often highlighted, with an ageing population the need for care workers is increasing. This means that new constructs will have to be developed at a larger scale.

Therefore, the goal of the event was to share the German translation of the policy brief and take discussions on female migrant health care workers in Germany further, aiming to connect researchers, policy makers and those working in the healthcare sector.

Women in Global Health – Germany and the Center for Global Health at the Technical University of Munich organised the event “Women on the Move – Migrant Women in the Health Professions” on Wednesday 20th March, 2019 at the Charité in Berlin. The event that was supported by the World Health Summit Foundation GmbH and the German Federal Ministry of Health featured speakers from many different fields and concluded with a networking reception allowing informal exchange and discussions.

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ilona Kickbusch founder of Women in Global Health-Germany guided the participants through the afternoon/early evening with great passion and insights. Overall, it can be said that there is a real need for interdisciplinary research and work addressing the issue of female migrant care workers. It is important to identify the factors for a successful integration and to turn that into policy measures. In order to take the issue of the global paradox of female migrant care workers, forward, we need to know more about the successes, failures as well as structures that are in place or needed. Finally, it is important to stress again that female migrant care workers represent a neglected part of the workforce agenda who deserve attention.

The report from the event can be accessed here

Kick-Off Meeting “HELMVIT” Study in Lambaréné, Gabon

A joint seminar was held at the Albert-Schweizer-Hospital and the CERMEL (Centre de Recherches Médicales de Lambaréné) in Lambaréné in Gabon from 7th-9th January 2019 to kick-off the consortial project „HELMVIT“ (Full title: “Impact of maternal helminth infection on Vitamin D regulation and on the immune system of the infant”) which is coordinated by Prof. Clarissa Prazeres da Costa, Kodirector of the Center for Global Health, Institute for Medical Microbiology, Immunology and Hygiene of TUM. Collaboration partners are Prof. Akim Adegnika (CERMEL) and Dr. Meral Esen (Institute for Tropical Medicine, University of Tübingen). The consortium is funded for three years by the DFG within the call “German-African Cooperation Projects in Infectiology”.

This seminar had three aims.

  1. The first one was to discuss results of a successful pilot study, which took place in Munich and Lambaréné and was performed by students of the Technical University Munich and which will pave the way for the upcoming study.
  2. The second aim was to discuss the details of the new DFG study on the influence of maternal helminth infection on Vitamin D regulation and the immune system of the children. Amongst many other staff members, two Gabonese PhD students will be part of this collaborative research project which will cover basic science aspects as well as general women health topics. In this line, a joint German-Gabonese workshop will take place in January 2020 with new partners from other TUM departments as well as representatives from the Ministry of Health in Gabon and other international researchers.
  3. Thirdly, new avenues in terms of capacity building (joint teaching, student exchange, knowledge transfer) and timely Global Health-related research topics were explored with the overall intention to intensify and sustain this collaboration.

Women in Global Health – Germany – 2nd Network Meeting

Global Health Day 2018

Looking at the Interaction Between People, Animals and the Environment from a multidisciplinary perspective

The Lancet One Health Commission was launched on the 9thand 10thof May 2019 in Oslo, supported by the Centre for Global Health at University of Oslo (UiO).The Lancet has nominated the two co-chairs: Dr. John Amuasi, Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research in Tropical Medicine at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Ghana, and Prof. Andrea Winkler, Centre for Global Health at UiO and Center for Global Health at the Technical University of Munich. A core group comprising of staff from the Centre for Global Health at UiO, WHO and Imperial College is driving the direction, design and implementation of the Commission. Scientists from all over the world gathered for the first meeting of the Lancet One Health Commission.

The meeting took place on the 9th and 10th of May at Blindern and in the beautiful surroundings of Tøyen Manor and the Botanical Gardens. Dr. John Amuasi, one of the two chairs of the Lancet One Health Commission. Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO

Adopted goals and main theme

The members decided that the Commission’s main theme should be to improve human, animal and ecosystem health through integrated approaches.

In addition, the delegates adopted the Commission’s objectives. These objectives will lead the way for how the Commission and each working group will move forward over the next few years. The objectives include demonstrating the opportunities, challenges and value proposition for an integrated approach to multispecies health and sustainable economic development in the 21st century.

The Lancet One Health Commision’s participants gathered outside Tøyen Manor. Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO.

In addition, they will synthesize evidence for the value of an integrated approach to multispecies health around the shared environment, food safety, shared medicines and intervention with an emphasis on infectious diseases, non-communicable diseases and antimicrobial resistance.

Focus on shared environment, safe food and the sharing of medicines and interventions

The Commission established three working groups. Each group will work on one part of the Commission’s tasks over the next two years. The groups will look at these topics:

  • Shared environment
  • Safe food and food systems
  • Shared medicines and interventions

The Commission’s main task will be to produce a scientific report published in The Lancet with recommendations for the implementation of One Health based on this work.
At the core of the Commission is the inclusion of multiple disciplines and sectors.

– “It was important to include experts from multiple disciplines, including life sciences and social sciences and experts working on communicable as well as non-communicable diseases. It was also important to include work on how these two disease types interact,” says Andrea Winkler, co-chair of the Commission.

Andrea Winkler, one of the two chairs of the Lancet One Health Commission. Photo: Øystein Horgmo, UiO.

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