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History, Culture and Global Health Sustainability

Last Thursday, 14th March, saw a fascinating seminar in the Pavilion Room at Hughes Hall, on what we can learn from the cultural contexts of global health. Real-life stories and an historical perspective on how good health can be delivered and change lives were provided by Nils Fietje from the World Health Organisation and Assistant Professor John Manton from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. They were joined by Prof. Sanjoy Bhattacharya from York University, together with Aliko Ahmed, Director of Public Health England for East of England, who hosted the debate alongside Arthur Hibble, Visiting Professor at the Anglia Ruskin University Postgraduate Medical Institute and the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education and a member of Hughes Hall. The audience were clearly stimulated and enjoyed a lively Q&A session.

After the event, Arthur said:

Global Health Histories critically derived provide us with the possibility of understanding the cultural elements of global health interventions. Culture is dynamic having its roots in history and its manifestation in the present. A full understanding of its potential impact on health related activities requires that the bio, social and physical sciences sit with the humanities at the same table. Along with the recognition of the home experts we need to be aware that the local actors should be recognised and attributed as coworkers.

We need to build upon the momentum created at our first seminar by providing that table and developing the topics and network to do so. Religion and Reproductive Health have already been proposed.