National Conference: Leeds 2017

Our first National Conference as Students for Global Health is coming up soon! Just as we finish Autumn Weekend we begin looking forward to heading up to our branch in Leeds for the Legacy conference! We’ll be looking at Sustainability in Global Health. We’re very excited and we think you will be when you read more about it, here!

Let your friends know you’re coming and invite them to the event via the Facebook event.


We’re delighted to be announcing the timetable for the weekend! Here is an overview of the weekend and below is more information on the contents of the sessions!

Leeds Timetable

Plenary One

We are honoured to be joined by Hilary Graham, Kristin Bash, Hayley Carmichael and Oliver Slaughter.

Professor Graham from UCL and the recently published Lancet Countdown on Climate Change and Health will be talking about exactly this: how humanity’s disregard for our environment is impacting people’s health.

Bash, from the University of Sheffield, will discuss food security and how (un)sustainable the world’s systems of feeding people are.

Carmichael and Slaughter will perform a double act talk on their work at the Sussex NHS trust on Care without Carbon, finding ways to reduce healthcare’s impact on the environment

Plenary Two

The second plenary will be a platform for serious discussion about hard issues. We will be joined by James Ackers-Johnson from the University of Salford, Tom Richardson, Student for Global Health from the University of Birmingham, and Natalie Mounter from KCL’s Global Health Partnerships centre.

James will discuss the impact of medical ‘voluntourism’ and how to make the most of international placements.

Tom will present the findings of his research on the ethics of Ebola vaccine trials whilst Natalie will talk about sustainable development projects in Sierra Leone in the aftermath of the Ebola crisis

Plenary Three

The third plenary will be one of optimism, we’ll be guided through a discussion on solutions to sustainability issues by the expert trio of Student for Global Health Alumnus Rhea Saksena from the NCDFREE project, Fifa Rahman from, our hosts, the University of Leeds and Laura Spratling from the Health Innovation network.

Rhea will discuss how youth movements are working to tackle Non-Communicable Diseases, Fifa will talk about health law and access to pharmaceuticals and then Laura will tell us about how innovation is essential to improving care and what’s in the pipeline!


Training sessions are a wonderful addition to any Students for Global Health conference, enabling delegates to take ideas and inspiration from the plenaries and workshops and helping to equip us with the skills and tools required to make positive change. Whether this is on a personal, local, national or international level, there will be a variety of interactive sessions to empower us all around issues we care about. Sessions will include: Students for Global Health International Exchanges, Global Health Education in Schools, Campaigning for Change, Getting Stuff Done, and more!


Streams, or workshops, will take place on Saturday in two sessions. There are a wide variety of exciting opportunities to learn more about many topics within sustainability. Read on for full details of what’s on offer:


Angela Gorman, from Life for African Mothers – It’s no coincidence that the poorest nations on earth have the highest rates of maternal deaths. How can we change this?  

Every year, over 300,000 women die in pregnancy and childbirth. 99% of these deaths are preventable and 99% are in developing countries; however women are not dying of diseases we cannot treat, they are dying because society has decided they are not worth treating. How do we try to address this human tragedy and make women realise that they are worthy of being saved?


Mr Tony Goodall – How Sustainable is the UK’s Love Affair with Alcohol?

The workshop will examine the impact of alcohol on British culture and how sustainable this is.  There will be a particular focus on women’s drinking issues and passive drinking (how it can affect others) and possible ways to limit the damage.  There will also be interactive opportunities to explore early awareness and personal attitudes.  We will consider health implications and try to suggest effective harm reduction policies.


Prof Lea Barring Ford – Climate and health workshop.

Climate change has been referred to as both the greatest challenge and the greatest opportunity for health this century. Yet untangling the causal complexities of how climate impacts health, why, and what to do about it remains a grand challenge. This interactive workshop will explore the pathways by which climate and climate change will impact health outcomes, and guide participants in understanding the relationships between climate and health. Workshop participants will work in groups to tackle climate and health policy challenges using practical examples.


Ms. Fiona Zakaria – Engineering in Emergencies.

The workshop will give an overview of engineering works following a disaster as part of the emergency response. The engineering works are done across 2 emergency response clusters i.e. shelter and WASH (Water Sanitation and Hygiene), with more discussions on WASH. The presentation will highlight the basis of WASH interventions, particularly the links with public health, as well as examples of common WASH interventions. The workshop would give a simulation of conducting effective rapid WASH assessments in emergencies for non-engineers.


Mia Thomas, from Healthy Planet – The cost of fast fashion – the impact of the clothing industry on the environment.

In this workshop, we will be looking at the clothing industry to find out what mark this huge industry is leaving on the world. The multitude of human rights abuses in sweatshops is a widely publicised issue but less talked about are the parallel environmental abuses that are taking place so that we can buy cheap, multi-coloured clothes from high street stores. These environmental abuses can no longer be ignored – from both a humanitarian and a planetary point of view the clothing industry is a harmful, horrific beast and we all need to start considering the true cost of the clothes we wear.


Heather Sutton – Homelessness: Our Legacy?

Homelessness is a rising issue in the UK. This workshop will challenge your idea of what it means to be homeless, and the solutions to an ever growing and complicated issue.


Nathalie Carter – Youth participation in international policy making.

Nathalie is a former youth committee coordinator with the United Nations Association of Spain; The Hague International Model United Nations Youth Assembly, and Western European Coordinator for the Global Youth Coalition on HIV / AIDS. This workshop will explore youth routes into international policy-making with examples including United Nations and HIV/AIDS. We will explore what opportunities exist, how and when to apply, and tips for productive engagement and collaboration. To get participants thinking, the session will include scenarios which require idea generation. The group will discuss the impact of responses in different cultural contexts.


Rachel Higgins, from Students for Global Health – Why do some Mum’s die?

In Sierra Leone 1 in every 17 women will die during pregnancy or from a pregnancy-related cause. In the UK the number is 1 in 5,800 women. What does this say about a country?

Between 2000 and 2015 maternal mortality rates worldwide decreased by more than a third, yet in the US maternal mortality rates are rising. Death rates among black American women are around 2-6 times higher than for white women, putting their maternal mortality ratio at a similar level to Iraq and Vietnam. What places some women at this much higher risk?

This workshop will look at why we should care about maternal mortality and why it is such an important measure worldwide.  We’ll look at topics such as intersectionality, contraception and the unmet need, the impact of American politics (and Trump) on women’s health worldwide and abortion. This will be a broad session on maternal health and will depend on what people are interested in!


Mr Konstantinos Antonopoulos, from MSF – Neglected Patients & Fundamental Problems with Medical Innovation.

For almost five decades, there have been unparalleled advances in health products, spurred, in part, by unequalled scientific progress in the pharmaceutical area. However, access to the benefits of medical progress and scientific progress has not been fairly shared and many innovation gaps endure. Which are the fundamental hindrances to RnD and how can we guarantee equitable access for neglected patients?


Robin Lovelace, from Leeds University – Open tools for healthy transport systems

In this event, we will demonstrate the Propensity to Cycle Tool, an open source online system for where to prioritise cycling investments and estimate the potential health benefits of cycling uptake. You will learn about a simple method, HEAT, for estimating the economic value of health benefits, which can be used to build the case for investing in sustainable transport, and how to use the Propensity to Cycle Tool in your own work. A question to consider before and during the workshop: should doctors be able to prescribe access to physical activities, e.g. free cycle training and bicycles?


Professor Garrett Brown – Beyond Global Health Gridlock

Since 2000 there has been a tripling of development aid for health as well as increased policy for global health cooperation in the MDGs and SDGs. Yet, despite these efforts, global health cooperation in many ways remains significantly underperforming and gridlocked. The aim of this workshop is to identify the historical pathways symptomatic of global health gridlock as well as to explore some recent mechanisms that could provide avenues beyond it.


Dr Rachael Pickering, from Integritas Healthcare – Torture & ill-treatment: a global medic’s perspective.

Dr Rachael Pickering is a GP with a special interest in secure environments – that is, prisons, police stations & anywhere else with locks & bars! As the medical director of Integritas Healthcare, an international NGO dedicated to offender health care, she works around the world. She will be delivering interactive teaching about her field of expertise – preventing, detecting and also managing the consequences of torture & other ill-treatments. She hopes that you will join her to learn about this global scourge and to consider what you could do to help put a stop to it.


Miss Hayley Wilkinson – What is an eating disorder?

This workshop will provide you with a basic knowledge of what an eating disorder is, talk through the signs someone with an eating disorder could show and talk about the ways in which someone can seek support. A Beat Ambassador will also be giving a talk on the day, sharing their personal experience of having an eating disorder and answering any questions you may have.


Kaat, from Leeds Sexpression – HIV and Sex Education

Despite major advances in its treatment, HIV remains a crucial sexual health issue both in the UK and abroad. Using interactive games and activities this workshop will look at the issues that still face us in opening up the conversation about HIV and its treatment, particularly in the context of sex education in secondary schools.


Miss Bethel Tadesse, from Hidden Scars – FGM: an ancient practice in a modern world

The workshop will look at what FGM is and how where, when and where its practices. I will also look at the effort to end FGM around the word and the progress we have made so far. To conclude, we will look at what we can do in the future to end this practice completely.


Peris Thuo and Aaron Pritchard, from THET – Global health and who?

The session will discuss how health partnerships are effectively working to improve health worker’s skills in low and middle-income countries, whilst ensuring sustainable and equitable healthcare access.


Mr James Cole, from UAEM – Pills and Profits: How to stop drug companies making a killing out of public research

Every year millions of people die globally because they can’t afford essential medicines whilst Big Pharma have been pushing a lie so big, even Trump would blush. They have become the world’s most profitable industry by leaching off public research and bleeding health budgets dry, leaving even wealthy countries unable to afford new medicines. The NHS spent more than £1 billion last year alone on drugs whose research was substantially funded by UK taxpayers. We end up paying twice for our medicines – first for the research and then in high prices.

Learn about the problems with Big Pharma, our Missing Medicines campaign and how we can change the way research and development (R&D) is undertaken in order to secure affordable and appropriate medicines for all in the world.


Ms Amelia Savell-Boss, from Friends of Irise – Voice, Choice and Control: How to catalyse change for marginalised girls

Our workshop will look at how the issue of MHM effects girls like Jane, what her story and journey are and how we can empower her to reach her full potential. This will involve discussions about gender dynamics within development, inequities in health, how Irise combat these issues and how we can all make a change in ourselves, our communities and in the world