I am Erlyn Macarayan, one of the most recent Emerging Voices for Global Health. Having been privileged to be part of similar professional associations such as the University of Queensland Behavioural and Social Science Research Review Board and the Australian Political Studies Association, I hope to be able to further apply the knowledge and skills gained from such experiences and create significant impacts for global health.
Why am I joining the HS global board?
Just recently, a number of calamities hit my home country – the Philippines. Millions of our people were left homeless, while many others were missing if not dead. As we all know, such unbelievable catastrophic events do not happen just in the Philippines alone, but in many other areas around the world. As a health practitioner and community health worker back in the Philippines, I have seen the difficult situation of the many that are not just poor in their living conditions but are dying out of hunger and out of the many unimaginable diseases of the unprivileged. As said, we cannot just cure the diseases and send them back to the places that made them sick. I then joined in influencing national policies through working with the government, but realized that our health problems are not just at the local or national levels – we needed global collaborations to uplift the health situations of the many low and middle income countries. As a current PhD student, teacher and a health systems researcher here in Australia, I have learned so much more. It provided me opportunities to travel around the world and see the different faces of healthcare in Asia, Australia, Africa and in many others. Seeing the world outside the four corners of a researcher’s wall made me strongly believe in what the Health Systems Global Board can do – and I wanted to be involved not just by being part of it but in shaping what we can do as a global board.
What and how can I contribute?
Involving more and more youths to join us in the endeavour – students, young leaders, emerging researchers, policymakers and practitioners – I want to be their voice in the HS Global Board. All of us are working for global health and there is a very strong momentum to do so right now. The main challenge that I am seeing, however, is how we can all unite those efforts so that rather than working individually, we are then working as one community. I do believe that I am equipped to be able to do so having been privileged to meet a lot of inspiring health practitioners, researchers and policymakers from all over the world. This time, however, I wanted it to be more multidisciplinary by involving my other colleagues, particularly in the social sciences and political sciences, as well as environmentalists and people from many other fields. Global health is not just about the physical health. It is about addressing the many other facets of health and health systems. I wanted to be their voice while on our HS Global board. Rest assured that if selected, I will dedicate myself towards creating significant outputs with lasting outcomes and impacts, particularly for the resource-challenged communities.
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Thank you so much!