Since 2009, the World Health Summit (WHS) has been bringing together stakeholders and decision-makers from all fields in the healthcare spectrum, providing the perfect forum for exchanging knowledge & expertise with experts from academia, industry, politics and civil society. Attracting up to 2000 participants and a wide range of stakeholder groups from all over the world, the event takes place annually in the German capital, Berlin. The WHS enjoys the high patronage of the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, the President of the French Republic, and the President of the European Commission.
This year, two Global Health Next Generation Network (GHNGN) members, me & Viveka from Sweden got the opportunity to attend the WHS, and I received the New Voices in Global Health award. This award recognises emerging researchers in the fields of health and medicine, and this initiative aims to ‘strengthen research and support young academics worldwide, to implement the global impetus of the World Health Summit Network to find and support future leaders in health, and to set tomorrow’s health agenda with the explicit inclusion of tomorrow’s leaders’. I consider myself blessed to receive the award this year as being a student of Global Mental Health at the Kings College London & London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a member of Global Health Next Generation Network.
My project explored mental health services among climate victims in a cyclone affected area of coastal Bangladesh. The mental health of people impacted by these types of disasters is a frequently overlooked topic. We conducted an exploratory study of mental health services in a cyclone affected the village. We found that despite numerous psychological impacts cyclones had on the population – from PTSD to depression – there was a lack of action plans and initiatives to address these issues. The project highlighted this gap and recommended resilient, responsive and sustaining health systems are crucial for this vulnerable population.
To me, It was a life-changing event, and I am humbled, honored and determined to work more efficiently to keep this glory of being selected among ten names around the world. The highlights also included meeting with Her Royal Highness Princess of Jordan Dina Mired, Nobel Laureate Dr. Roger D Kornberg, International President of Médecins Sans Frontières, Dr. Joanne Liu and Member of the House of the Lords, UK Parliament Lord Paul Boateng and other distinguished speakers.
These 3 days gave some unforgettable memories, new learnings, new contacts and networks in global health and some thoughtful insights for future ideas to be implemented in the global health arena. We are looking forward to representing GHNGN in global platforms like this soon with new enthusiasm and excitement.
Dr. M. Tasdik Hasan is a MSc candidate (MSc in Global Mental Health) at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine & Kings College London and a researcher from the International Center for Diarrheal Diseases Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b). His interests in Global Health are infectious diseases, climate change, health policy & mental health disorders in low & middle-income countries.