Learning the Practice of Global Health at UCSF

"The greatest challenge facing global health is the socialization of scarcity."

The Lange Room at UCSF fell still as Paul Farmer and Sonya Shin, leaders with the organizations Partners in Health and Community Outreach and Patient Empowerment, challenged the audience at the 4-day Global Health Bootcamp to think bigger, bolder, and more deeply when it comes to global health.  It was a closing event that highlighted many of the themes that had been thoughtfully inculcated to produce a cohort of practitioners ready to improve health outcomes across the developing world. 

Now in its second year, the Global Health Bootcamp is a continuing medical education course facilitated by the University of California, San Francisco Global Health Core. The Bootcamp attracts global health leaders from around the country to train with experts in the field in an intimate seminar format on items of program planning, systems building, and partnership in global health. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center International Division partnered with the Diaspora Health Network to fund 2 international medical graduates, both from Nigeria, to attend the conference this year.

Attendees heard from leadership from UCSF as well as from the most innovative organizations in the global health sphere including MUSO Health in Mali, Partners in Health, Medic Mobile, Possible Health in Nepal and Last Mile Health in Liberia on topics ranging from effective leadership, working with governments in developing countries, human rights in health, managing supply chains, and developing clinical education programs.The session ended with a day-long training session on applying ultrasound clinical ultrasound use. 

 Drs. Paul Farmer and Sonya Shin on the final day discussing challenges and opportunities facing the global health community at large. 

Drs. Paul Farmer and Sonya Shin on the final day discussing challenges and opportunities facing the global health community at large. 

The sponsored attendees, both of whom were Nigerian and come from the Family Medicine program at UPMC McKeesport, come from backgrounds of service and are passionate about giving back there. David Ahamba trained at Abia State University, gained a MPH here in the United States and plans to go back to work in Nigeria in a position of health system leadership. Adeola Fakolade trained in Lagos State University and plans to do clinical and health policy work in Nigeria after completing her residency. Both of them found ways to apply the lessons of the course to their prior experience working in their home country, empowering them to go back to make impact. 

 Dr. David Ahamba participating in the ultrasound course.

Dr. David Ahamba participating in the ultrasound course.

"The Bootcamp was very enlightening." according to Dr. Fakolade. "The skills I acquired from the course I can apply during my residency training.  I have a clearer picture which direction I want to take my career in."

Dr. Ahamba commented that he felt "privileged to attend the conference", and benefited from "networking with like minds".

DHN plans to continue to partner with UCSF and with other partners to continue and expand access to these and other opportunities in the future. If you are interested in knowing more or wish to be updated with further opportunities, follow our social networks or email us at diasporahealthnetwork@gmail.com.