Subscribe to our weekly International update on Health Policies

Your weekly update on

international health policies

Shakira Choonara

AU Youth Advisory Council
 

Blogs

We Have not Galvanised: The International Conference on Population and Development in Nairobi – #ICPD25

“In many conversations, youth mentioned that they will be approaching policy makers for funds to travel to Rwanda for the International Conference on AIDS and STIs in Africa (ICASA), many policy-makers and civil society organisations discussed their plans for ICASA, Beijing25, … We are moving from one meeting to the next, it seems. Not sure t...

Warning! The Age of Global Health Confusion

I first thought of this issue on the 11th of October, so I got slightly delayed, but I know (from personal experience) that there is a recovery period needed for many IHP readers post that wicked Health Systems Global party in Liverpool. So I bet you won’t mind the delay. Being also a victim of flu, I’m hard at work trying everything besides...

#EV2018 Distance Learning: Global Inequities in Health System Research & the Rise of Health Systems Agents of Change

It’s that time where in South Africa and the Southern hemisphere, at least, there are blossoms everywhere and a spring in our step literally! Not to be corny, but this analogy does resonate with the Emerging Voices (#EV2018) distance learning phase which is the first stage to getting that health-system-spring-in-your-step, thoughts and actions...

Forget Selfies, YouthQuakes & Engaging Diplomats Begin with Groundies !

Post the most traumatic moments of my life (aka the PhD), I jumped with enthusiasm into the civil society space where I was given an exciting challenge to develop youth programmes in sexual and reproductive health (SRHR). We’re coolly known as #SAT4YOUTH! The journey has meant learning to apply theory, and designing programmes to plant the see...

Let’s get real – The Matrix of Oppression Standing in the Way of Sustainable Development Girls

Having recently undergone the transition from being an academic for over eight years (oh my gosh, yes, grey strands showing) to becoming more active in the civil society space, I have begun to understand and place value on the concept of “meaningful youth engagement”. The term is often bandied about, and usually given a variety of meanings g...

The Art of Engaging Policy Makers

Next week is set to be quite controversial with the European Conference on Tropical Medicine #ECTMIH2017 and the Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) session where alumni will hotly debate the role of health policy and systems research in transforming political commitments to improve our health systems. There has long since been the issue o...

From Rhetoric to Reality – Community Dialoguing & Engagement

You may think I haven’t gotten with the times i.e. not coming up (yet) here with deep reflections  on the Health Systems Global 2018 theme (advancing health systems for all in the SDG era), but instead, being honest, that before we even get there we can’t move on from the 2014 focus in Cape Town  – people- centred health systems. Not just,...

Leaving No One Behind: Solutions to Vulnerability, Inaccessibility & Condom Usage

The Higher Education and Training HIV/AIDS Programme, more commonly referred to as HEAIDS has made significant strides in reaching young people at tertiary institutions (universities and colleges) in South Africa. I would describe a recent gathering as a historic moment in South African (SA) history. Over 2000 young people gathered to discuss th...

#AfricaDay2017 – The Rise of a United States of Africa

After a whirlwind of recent travel across Southern Africa, the realities of the continent hit home and pretty much keep me awake at night, but also close to tears and highly angered when I think of developmental issues on the ground.  Against that backdrop, May 25th is  the perfect day for reflection and hopefully action, as it marks Africa Da...

When Cost-Effectiveness Turns into Crime – The Death of Vulnerable Populations (94+ Psychiatric Patients) in South Africa

Despite some undeniable successes, by and large the South African (SA) health system has failed and continues to fail most of the very citizens it is meant to serve. Yes, the challenges are enormous given the legacy of our racialized past (Apartheid) but there are plenty of present day issues for which the country is fast running out of excuses ...

Learning the Art of Research Communication #ev4gh16!

October 2016 marks exactly two years since I was selected onto the exciting Emerging Voices (EV) for Global Health Programme. Ever since, it has been a phenomenal experience which has provided a much needed space for younger researchers and to propel their voices in the field of health systems and policy research. Through the venture, extensive ...

Accepted & expected academic practice – closing the gap between research and practice

Earlier this week, while delivering the keynote address at the exciting Junior Public Health Association of South Africa (JuPHASA) 2016 conference, I touched upon the fact that it is rare for young individuals to truly be engaged in policy discussions. During the keynote, I also alluded to the importance of self-accountability and encouraged the...

Young, Hip and Ready to take #HSR2016 by Storm! Introducing EV2016!

Time really flies! It’s already the fifth edition of the Emerging Voices for Global Health (EV4GH) programme – initiated by the Institute of Tropical Medicine Antwerp (ITM) in 2010. And while ITM remains a critical partner, the EV initiative has evolved into a multi-partner venture, steered by the Institute of Public Health (IPH) Bangalore, ...

AIDS2016 and Melania Trump Stealing more than Just a Speech!

No discussion on HIV/AIDS can be complete without the nitty-gritties of target 3.3 (by 2030, end the epidemics of AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases and combat hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases) of Sustainable Development Goal 3 which ensures healthy lives and promotes well-being for all age...

Youth! Cinema! Lectures! Women Deliver 2016 – a roller coaster ride to the health and well-being of women and children in the era of the SDGs!

Going through information on the previous editions of Women Deliver, I recall being awestruck by the list of speakers, number of female participants and the types of issues discussed; I must say the #WD2016 conference has lived up to my expectations. Women Deliver began in 2007 as a global conference to address maternal mortality. This fourth ...

Networking Your Way to Change the World #WD2016 (+ Best practices to get a decision maker’s attention)

Gulp, clears throat! I suppose I should be the last person to write on this, I’m probably still too young, starry-eyed and shy (yes we all have that shy gene and I don’t think it ever goes away!). I recall meeting several high-profiled people when I was much younger, well and recently, and let’s just say that I was more star-struck than an...

Women Deliver Kicks off with a Bang!

The Danish Prime Minister opened his plenary speech  for #WD2016 aka Women Deliver 2016 – for the less savvy ones amongst us – with an introduction to Denmark as one of the most just, equal and happiest countries in the world, of course not forgetting that it is also rated one of the best countries for women to live in! Not that I needed th...

We are the Cool Cats of Health Systems Research! Join the Club and #BeAnEV!

If you’re a young health (systems) researcher, I’m sure you will identify with me when I talk about the challenges many of us face in the broader academic environment (including in the vastly cooler world of health systems research in which you from to time get to enjoy Lucy Gilson’s YMCA dance moves during serious meetings, or can talk  ...

The SGD Summit in New York: Being part of history and lovin’it!

As a young researcher, I think we all can identify with the opening paragraph of our thesis or research articles which state ‘According to the Millennium Development Goals-MDGs’… Like it or not, the MDGs filtered down from the global level to shaping the research agenda and influencing planning processes at health facilities. The Sustainab...

Animal Farm Musings on UHC

    “All animals (patients) are equal, it’s just that some are more equal than others”   I recently attended the Leadership Management and Governance Training for Health Systems Strengthening in Africa. The training is hosted by Amref Health Africa in Kenya. It was an exciting two weeks, during which I had the opportunity to interact with ...

Let’s Cruise towards Better Health Care

Sometimes even an Emerging Voice and Future Leader (hear me…) can feel a bit out of touch with our times. Now that many desperate people are trying to cross oceans and seas on very shabby boats, hoping for a better future, this January I embarked on the spectacular MSC Opera, a luxury cruise from the Cape of Storms to the stunning Namibian Des...

Challenges of Youth Inclusivity

Being recently selected as 1 of 14 youth globally for the Future Leaders Programme at the European Development Days (EDD 15) still feels surreal. One of the highlights of my trip to Belgium thus far has been to attend the event ‘Our World, Our Dignity, Our Future –  The Post 2015 Agenda and the Role of Youth’, an interactive debate between ...

Will the “voices of victims” finally be heard in Vancouver?

Throughout the Third Global Health Symposium 2014 (Health Systems Research, Cape Town, South Africa), attention was continuously drawn to the fact that the voices of the “victims” of weak health systems were missing from the symposium. There was a unanimous call to ensure that these people would be included in future HSR conferences. Recentl...

International Day for Persons with Disabilities- Is there anything to celebrate?

It has been reported that households with (a) differently-abled member(s) tend to face extreme poverty; including food insecurity, poor housing and sanitation as well as inadequate access to healthcare. Ageing is often coupled with physical, hearing or sight disabilities. With rapidly ageing populations across many developing and developed natio...

Reversing inequalities in South Africa – Where can we start?

As I got ready to jet off back to Johannesburg, South Africa, I reflected on the two weeks I spent in Cape Town, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful cities in South Africa. I was privileged to be selected and fully sponsored to participate in the Emerging Voices programme as well as the Third Global Symposium on Health Systems Research. Born a...

Shakira Choonara: candidate for the HS Global Board elections

  Election Statement: ‘As a young individual I hope to be that fresh and determined voice which will stand not as an individual but as a representative of all of you, to bring together our valuable research and insight and translating it into knowledge, policy improvements and ultimately building a global movement which will lead to affordable...