In late January anornade SLS with IFMSA-Sweden a masterclass in Global Health, with a focus on children's health. One of the participants was Frederica von Essen, who has written a post about what she brings from Masterclassen.
He is Bloggen!
A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure to give the student bubble in Umeå for a weekend in Stockholm at the SLS KUF and IFMSA:s masterclass in global health. a tagged, and probably a little smånervöst bunch of 20's junior doctors and students from different semesters and universities met in the SLS house on Saturday. We knew that we had come to a course with a focus on global child health and we had been preparing ourselves by reading some articles on the topic, but otherwise we did not know quite what is waiting. There we faced would be an exciting and eye-opening weekend with both inspiration and new insights, which I was going to tell a little bit about this.
The course began with an exciting and interactive introduction to the health status of children in Sweden and globally. Tobias Alfvén gave us a crash course in how children's health has changed over time, and with the help of those in my mind constantly fascinating Gapminder bubbles he got us to understand that child mortality worldwide by half between the years 1990 and 2015. That it also applies to Sweden had passed me unnoticed but is something I will not forget! (#factfulness) We were also trying to sort out various common causes of death in the age categories and categorize them based on how common they are in the different age groups of children and young people. really tricky, but instructive and important.
After this intro to the topic continued weekend course with different seminars and lectures by people with diverse backgrounds, but all working with a global child health in any way. This reinforced really reminder of how diverse and multi-sectoral this topic is. A repeatedly recurring theme was the Agenda 2030 targets. Reasonably low focus a little extra on SDG 3 – ”Good health and well-being”.
First out of the rest were Holly Newby, who has worked as head of UNICEF:the data collection unit prior. She took us on a plunge in global child health by using its expertise in data collection and monitoring. We learned about UNICEF:s role as a responsible and co-responsible for the monitoring of specific indicators of targets and focus areas within SDG. It all became very interactive as we, in addition to getting to learn about the methodology behind the data collection, also had to carry out some exercises on the field SDG indicators.
Holly had prepared some interactive exercises designed to get us to relate a little more critical of the Agenda 2030 targets, their indicators and ways of measuring the. This was so very real for me, and with this exercise, so now you're going to hear this example. We were divided into groups all got different indicators to focus on. We would then identify the indicators' weak points and share with other groups. My group had "skilled attendant at birth", which I previously thought seems to be a perfectly reasonable indicator of maternal and child health. Men, what exactly is a "skilled attendant"? Is there a universal definition of this, or it may vary locally and regionally, depending on who is collecting data? And how good a doctor or midwife than are, what should this be able to perform at the lack of medical equipment? And how many women giving birth are helped by one skilled attendant while? How great chance to care, the woman in reality? The conclusion was therefore that it is an indicator that can be used but it also has major flaws. There are as always many aspects to take into consideration. Eye Opening!
Another important insight for me was that even if the data comes from a credible source that UNICEF data can not only be interpreted in a literal and simple way. Although such data must be interpreted and assessed, and one must remember that statistics are just statistics and that it is not comprehensive. Holly also pointed out that there are far too few indicators SDG objectives actually include children's health. Many indicators can be improved both on paper and in reality without child health necessarily improved them. This was also an interesting and important reminder.
After an afternoon passed quickly because everything was so exciting but at the same time, long before we had time so much, we went out and ate dinner on the town together. Very nice!
First up on Sunday morning, Anna-Clara Hollander told about another super important perspective on children's health, namely the health of refugee children. It gave me a greater understanding of how the determinants interact with all pre- and post-migration-specific factors, and escape factors. She also talked about his research here in Sweden to try to find out the suicide risk among unaccompanied minor asylum seekers. It was striking how the lack of personal identity among asylum seekers complicates the work. There we have a bit to work on, Sweden.
Jill Åhs, consultant for UNICEF, then held a seminar on the mental health of children in the world. She explained that mental health is such a huge burden of disease worldwide, and that it is falling behind other disease burdens. In an interactive way, we got an understanding of how untreated mental illness among children affect society at all levels. Apparently, it is added so incredibly little money on improving the mental health situation also, and to explain how little she showed a picture and said that it is about a hundredth of the amount of money that Americans spend on köpkaffe in a year ...
The last thing we did for the day before the course ended was a round table discussion with Anders Nordström, Swedish Ambassador for Global Health. It gave a lot of inspiration and was a way to share experiences and experiences with each other, and getting a better idea of how best to get involved in the field.
What do I take with me from this weekend when? Very. Lots of inspiration to be part of a broader set of people who are interested in the same thing as me and who have different, exciting experiences in the field. Increased knowledge of to listen to talented, skilled people with different perspectives within this broad child health field. Important perspective on the world to take with me for the long remainder of my medical training. I look back on a fruitful weekend and also looks forward to the upcoming master classes and other forums where I can get to immerse myself in such important and exciting topics!
Fredrika von Essen