Contributing to new standard of global health service

With advances in technology and the force of globalization, the face of global health is changing. At the recent Baylor College of Medicine Global Health Symposium, Dr. Michael Merson, founding director of Duke University’s Global Health Institute, focused his keynote address on the challenges of global health today. 

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Of these challenges, chronic disease is on the rise globally, requiring increased preventive care and novel innovation for management.

Poor quality infrastructure puts the most vulnerable health systems at risk of collapse, as we have seen with the recent Ebola outbreak in West Africa. This catastrophe has emphasized the necessity of strong healthcare systems as, in the words of Dr. Paul Farmer, countries like Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone lack the “staff, stuff, space and systems” required to stop Ebola.

We realize now more than ever the rich diversity in interests, skillsets and professions that are needed to propel us forward in global health. Student-led initiatives and faculty-led research, advocacy, and clinical experiences are fortifying global health programs at medical schools across the country.

Baylor College of Medicine boasts unique opportunities for students, including:

  • Cutting-edge research with the National School of Tropical Medicine
  • Opportunities to learn from world-renowned faculty in infectious diseases and maternal and child health
  • International rotations at clinics such as Baylor Pediatric AIDS Initiative (BIPAI) in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Support from Baylor Global Initiatives to pursue a Global Scholarly Activity
  • Work with the Baylor Global Innovation Center to develop low-cost technologies in low resource settings
  • Help plan and participate in the upcoming Baylor Global Hack-a-thon

Through our experiences in technology innovation for low-resource settings and improving metrics for access to reproductive health services in Sub-Saharan Africa, we have come to view medicine through the dynamic lens of global health.

Baylor’s international program focuses on transforming global health through meaningful and innovative contributions in education, training, research, and patient care, making the College an ideal medical school for students pursuing careers in global health to make an impact.

Within the new global health paradigm of the WHO’s Sustainable Development Goal, we will all strive for a world that is “just, equitable and inclusive,” by addressing multifaceted determinants of health, encompassing education, gender equity, food security and a number of other ideals.

With a clearer vision of what the international community seeks to accomplish in the next set of development goals, as well as the numerous challenges we will inevitably face, we, as a generation of future leaders in global health, are dedicated to doing our part in contributing to a new world health order.

By Jane Jarjour and Stephanie Allen, first year medical students at Baylor College of Medicine

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