Shared Humanity and Global Health
11–12 November 2020 | University of Otago, Dunedin
The 13th annual OGHI Conference explored the theme of Shared Humanity and Global Health. The conference was one of the few “face to face” gatherings of the year, and over 60 people attended the conference activities. The 22 papers which were delivered included presentations on antimicrobial resistance, mental health and wellbeing, resource management and medical technologies. Other topics in the programme were as diverse as historical global health thinking, the importance of social capital in COVID-19 responses, tuberculosis in Indonesia, and food security and development in Sierra Leone.
Student prizes: Eight students delivered oral presentations, and the annual prize for the best student presentation was awarded, for the second time, to Lupe Isaiah. Elizabeth Webb won the best student poster prize.
Although the conference was an in-person meeting, the effects of COVID-19 travel restrictions resulted in there being several recorded presentations. In addition, the 2020 McKinlay Oration was expertly delivered by Associate Professor Bob Huish, Department of International Development Studies, Dalhousie University, via Zoom from Canada. The Oration, entitled 'The consequences of using ancient methods for modern-day pandemics: Understanding the consequences of stigma from COVID-19' was attended by an audience of about 60 people, in Te Wao Nui at the Otago Business School.
We welcomed two guest speakers this year:
- Professor Tony Ballantyne, PVC Humanities at the University of Otago, who delivered a fascinating address entitled 'Bodies, empires, difference: Some ways of thinking historically about global health'; and
- Professor Tony Binns, Ron Lister Chair in Geography at the University of Otago, who shared insights gained during 40-years of working with communities in Sierra Leone in a talk about 'Food security, livelihoods and development: Examining evidence from urban and rural Sierra Leone, West Africa'.
This year’s pre-conference workshop, facilitated by Professor Joanne Baxter (Associate Dean Māori), focused on 'Making connections meaningful: how can Māori values and tikanga inform best practice for global health engagement?' The workshop, attended by 40 participants - of which seven were OGHI Leadership Group members - also included a review of international best practice in global health engagement.
The Otago Daily Times ran a story ahead of the conference on 9 November 2020, which emphasised the international nature of the conference, and the impacts that COVID-19 had on the event.