The Climate and Health Interdisciplinary Research Programme (CHIRP) at Leeds is based in the Priestly International Centre for Climate at the University of Leeds. CHIRP@LEEDS is a joint collaboration across the climate and global health themes, and partners the Leeds School of Earth and Environment, and the Leeds Institute for Health Sciences, including the Nuffield Centre for Global Health and Development. Led by Professor Lea Berrang-Ford, the programme integrates interdisciplinary expertise across Leeds faculties, including strengths in public health, epidemiology, medicine, engineering, climate science, nutrition, and geography.
IHACC student Sierra Clark received one of two Norman Bethune Awards for Global Health at Global Health Night on November 3rd. Sierra's current research examines cardiovascular impacts of indoor air pollution and success of improved cook stove interventions to reduce exposure. This award will help Sierra to conduct field research in rural areas of China. Congratulations Sierra!
Established in 2015, the Dr. Norman Bethune award is awarded annually to a McGill Graduate Student or Postdoctoral Fellow (Faculty of Medicine) to support travel for research projects or clinical electives in a low-resource (international or northern Canada) setting. Dr. Norman Bethune (a Royal Victoria Hospital physician) was known due to his selfless acts to bring modern medicine to rural China in the midst of the Second Sino-Japanese war. Current students dedicated to making an impact in the global health are encouraged to apply for this prestigious award.
November 5-7th lab members Margot Charette and Sarah MacVicar attended the Canadian Conference on Global Health here in Montreal. They each presented posters on their master's research with IHACC, Margot on her study of environmental drivers of dengue in Ucayali, Peru, and Sarah on her modelling of the effects of weather on birth size in Kanungu District, Uganda. University of Guelph IHACC affiliates Kaitlin Patterson and Rebecca Wolff also had posters on display at the conference, with Rebecca’s winning the conference prize for “Best Contribution to Global Health”.
Margot's innovative poster was rewarded with the Hillman Prize for Best Student Poster. Congratulations Margot!
The conference theme this year was on capacity building, which is high relevant to IHACC's work around the world. Here are some of Sarah's reflections on the event:
Our three days at this year’s Canadian Conference on Global Health have left us overflowing with new ideas and inspired by the energy, enthusiasm and commitment of all delegates. Though we may differ in roles and approaches, it was clear that everyone at the conference was working towards a common goal: building a future with better health for all.
Some of the most powerful sessions of the conference were those examining ethical practices and power dynamics in global health. These sessions posed some of the most challenging questions we face as researchers: how do we build authentic partnerships? How can we challenge the false dichotomy dividing North from South? What can we do in our everyday practice to decolonize the academy?
There is a large appetite for these conversations: the workshop on power, privilege, and inclusion in global health saw some of the highest attendance and engagement of the entire conference. I am hopeful that these discussions will become a central theme in future conferences as we learn to better evaluate our motives and methods. Keeping this in mind is essential to ensure that not only are we “doing no harm”, but that we are promoting resilience, autonomy, and local capacity in all that we do.