Chair: Kaspar Wyss
Who are we?
At present it is a small group of public health professionals from Geneva, Lausanne and Basel, who have taken the lead. The members of the newly formed steering group, Bettina Borisch, John-Paul Vader, Michaela Told and I, bring in their personal experience, but are also linked to Swiss public health academia (Institutes of Social and Preventive Medicine of the Universities of Geneva and Lausanne, The Graduate Institute of Geneva and the Swiss Tropical Institute in Basel). The first parallel session organized during the 2009 annual conference of Public Health Switzerland attracted more than 40 participants and some have already expressed interest in becoming active members of the Global Health Special Interest Group. For the future we expect to raise the interest and the active participation of many of the members of Public Health Schweiz.
What are our aims?
Think global and local - act both local and global. Right now, we would like to advocate global health issues in Switzerland. In practice we will use existing building blocks to:
- Maintain, and even extend, collaboration with sister public health organizations in Europe and worldwide. Apart from the existing links with the European Public Health Association, the newly opened office of the World Federation of Public Health Associations in Geneva hosted by the IMSP in Geneva (www.wfpha.ch) provides an excellent opportunity to strengthen the links between Swiss and global health issues.
- Contribute to joint international efforts addressing international and global health problems and facilitate contacts between Swiss and foreign institutions and organizations in the field of public health.
- Support institutions and organizations in the field of public health in Switzerland with an interest in embedding their work into organized international efforts more systematically.
- Provide members opportunities for international, professional contacts and collaboration.
In addition we intend to launch a discussion of what Global Health means in the Swiss context. On the more practical side, we will explore establishing a lecture series on Global Health issues in Swiss public health institutions, and of course, make this special interest group visible and attractive in future annual conferences on Public Health Schweiz.
In short, the Global Health Special Interest Group wants to enhance consciousness of the role Europe has to play in Global Health, and become an active focal and reference point for Global Health issues in Switzerland.
You find the whole interview with Nick Lorenz here (edited in SPHnews 4-09).