#GlobalHealthTalk2019 – Kick-off for the intersectoral cooperation of the Global Health Hub Germany
On the 18th and 19th of June 2019, more than 130 participants discussed a variety of global health issues at the Global Health Talk hosted by the Global Health Hub Germany at the state representation of Baden-Württemberg in Berlin. The Global Health Talk is the Hub's first event, at which a large number of members and interested people from diverse sectors and stakeholder groups found a forum for exchange and networking. The participants were also able to introduce their own topics and initiate working groups.
"The great opportunity and special feature of the hub lies in the dialogue and cooperation across different sectors and stakeholder groups", emphasized Prof. Dr. Dr. Till Bärnighausen (Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg) at the opening talk of the two-day event. This would allow to make better use of synergies, as well as new partnerships and project ideas to emerge. Together with Tanya Herfurth (Young Leaders for Health e.V.), Bärnighausen will co-chair the interim steering committee of the Global Health Hub Germany (GHHG).
Key topics of the hub for 2019
In its first year, the Hub concentrates on the October 2018 decision of the Permanent Secretary Committee on Sustainable Development. The first panel discussion also focused on its topics: fighting antimicrobial resistance, harnessing the potential of increasing digitization, as well as combating and preventing non-communicable diseases and neglected tropical diseases. The panelists from science, civil society and youth discussed -among other things - the importance of intersectoral and cross-actor cooperation in addressing these issues and the extent to which the Hub can contribute to this.
Prof. Dr. Dr. Ilona Kickbusch (Director of the Global Health Program at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva) emphasized that the individual topics of global health are not competing with each other. Above all, it is essential to establish fruitful cooperation and collaboration structures in Germany. "A cooperation between different sectors and stakeholders is needed in order to work successfully on various important topics of global health," explained Dr. Johanna Hanefeld (Head of the Berlin branch office of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine). In particular, a topic such as antimicrobial resistance shows why a network like the GHHG is crucial. "The successful fight against antimicrobial resistance requires intersectoral collaboration, like it is now emerging in the GHHG." The panelists agreed that the members of the Hub are in charge of its configuration. Bernd Pastors (German Medical Aid Organization action medeor e.V.) invited representatives of the various stakeholder groups to get actively involved and jointly build up the Hub. Prof. Dr. Dr. Kickbusch emphasized: "The Hub is not a structure that has the responsibility to deliver. It is a structure that enables.”
Inter-stakeholder cooperation in Hub working groups
In addition to the discussion of the topics from the decision of the Permanent Secretary Committee, the Open Space gave participants the opportunity to introduce their own topics and questions. Thus, 14 different working groups were created, e.g. on "Global Urban Health", "Digital Health Literacy" or "Global Mental Health". The working groups started their work with several discussion rounds during the event. They will be transferred to the new Global Health Hub Germany website that was being launched at the event. In the member area of the website, the working groups can then continue their work in the virtual space. All members of the Hub, also those who were not able to participate in the Global Health Talk, can join working groups online. In addition, there is the possibility to propose new topics or questions. For non-members there is a public area on the website including news and upcoming events.
Panel discussion on SDG 3 and the SDG 3 Action Plan
The second day was dedicated to SDG 3 and the development of the SDG 3 action plan. Panelists from think tanks, economy and civil society debated the various needs for achieving SDG 3. Daniel Gulati (Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik) emphasized that interdepartmental cooperation is of enormous importance in order to achieve SDG 3. Anna Wasiak (Save the Children) called for a better involvement of civil society in the development and implementation of the SDG 3 Action Plan. In addition, the challenges for health and global health policy were highlighted during that session. Harald Zimmer (German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases) pointed out that global health should be represented more strongly in the public perception and be a visible component of development cooperation. According to Roland Göhde (German Healthcare Partnership), the GHHG can bring together different individual discussions in global health and introduce various global health issues to the public supported by its members.
The next steps of the GHHG
At the end of the Global Health Talk, the GHHG head office gave an outlook for the upcoming months. In addition to the recently founded working groups, webinars organized by members and, possibly, competition of ideas are planned by the end of the year. Suggestions for topics for webinars can already be sent to the head office (email@example.com). Furthermore, existing stakeholder mappings on global health can also be shared with the GHHG office. These documents will be uploaded to the GHHG website. The constitution of the GHHG is currently being reviewed by the Interim Steering Committee and will afterwards be available on the website. The next Global Health Talk is planned for the beginning of 2020.
A photo gallery with impressions of the event can be found at www.foto-sicht.de/globalhealthtalk (User: GHHG; Password: GlobaleGesundheit).