MPH student presentation at the Chevening Conference

What is the link between Ebola outbreaks and Health Systems?

This is a question which needs to be asked in order to understand how this virus came to find its way around the globe in a matter of months. This topic must be scrutinised and assessed to help draft future recommendations for bridging current gaps in the health systems of vulnerable countries and eliminate the emergence of future outbreaks.

Dr. Haitham Shoman, who is studying his Master’s in Public Health at Imperial College London, prepared a poster on this subject and presented an overview at the Chevening Conference in Durham University on Diplomacy in the 21st Century that took place in Durham on the April 17th 2015. This was a fantastic opportunity to present such a cutting edge topic and educate high profile delegates, particularly those from non-medical backgrounds. His presentation drew a great deal of interest and questions from different participants. Support was given from Imperial College WHO CC. The dissertation he will be carrying out this summer, to be supervised by Professor Salman Rawaf, is centred on finding the link and grasping the roots of the problem, assessing information from a wide range of sources and reaching conclusions on how to mitigate such problems. A particular sense of urgency surrounds the spread of such diseases due to their potential to perpetuate poor health, poverty and inequality in some of the world’s most deprived countries. Living in the 21st century with globalisation and increased connectivity, countries with weak health systems should not be left behind as health is a fundamental human right and not exclusive to those living in the developed world. Strong health systems need to be established with proper communication and partnerships to avoid the progress of Ebola and avoid the emergence of new outbreaks

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