Welcome to the Global Health Strategic Group newsletter,
Your bi-monthly peek at what is happening behind the scenes in the field of global health, with trending news, upcoming events, funding opportunities and more! Read on to find out what researchers across all disciplines of global health research have been up to in recent months. We look forward to staying connected with you!
One of the RRSPQ's objectives is to promote the exchange and utilisation of knowledge among and by the various actors in the population health network. To this end, we would like to invite all members of the RRSPQ to share their publications or activities (conferences, webinars, etc). These will be advertised on the RRSPQ website and the network’s social media accounts, insofar as they are relevant to population health research and ideally relating to the specific themes of the strategic groupings.
For the past couple years, Egypt has been recognized as being at the forefront of hepatitis C elimination efforts. In 2008, at the height of the hepatitis C epidemic in Egypt, one in every 10 Egyptians suffered from chronic hepatitis C; and by 2015, hepatitis C accounted for 40,000 deaths per year in Egypt—7.6 percent of all deaths there—and depressed national GDP growth by 1.5 percent. However, the efficient deployment of effective and reasonably-priced medicines has allowed for the country to start to administer treatment on a mass scale. Since then, important progress has been achieved towards the elimination of this disease in Egypt - in recent years, over 1.6 million patients have been treated through this program.
In recent weeks, at least 9 humanitarian compounds in Bambari, the Central African Republic's second-largest city, have been looted by groups of armed men. Plagued by violent conflict since 2013, these attacks accompany a new wave of violence that has developed over the past year. As a result, several aid organizations and NGOs have temporarily suspended their activities throughout the country. This is likely to have a negative impact on the economically deprived and struggling population of CAR, whose humanitarian and medical needs have increased as a result of these recent happenings.
On May 24, 2018, WHO and the World Bank Group forged a new joint initiative to strengthen global health security through the monitoring of emergency preparedness across national governments, UN agencies, civil society and the private sector. This concerted effort will allow for a greater level of advocacy for issues relating to health crisis preparedness by the newly-created Global Preparedness Monitoring Board. "For too long, we have allowed a cycle of panic and neglect when it comes to pandemics: we ramp up efforts when there’s a serious threat, then quickly forget about them when the threat subsides," World Bank Group Dr. Jim Yong Kim said. "With the GPMB, we’re taking a large step towards breaking that cycle. The GPMB will help save lives, prevent economic damage, and ensure that we keep pandemic preparedness at the top of the global agenda.”
When: Courses beginning June 25 and July 2nd, 2018
Where: Université de Montréal, Montreal, QC
The CERIUM will be offering a total of 18 summer courses covering major themes in world affairs. Each course will be of a duration of 6 days and will be led by experts in the respective fields addressed. Courses with a relevance to global health include Practices and Policies in an Intercultural Setting as well as Migration and Public Health on the Eve of Globalization: Approaches and Data for the Analysis of Current Challenges, the latter of which will be taught by Dr. Bilkis Vissandjée, a regular researcher within the QPHRN and a member of the Global Health Strategic Group.
In collaboration with the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) and Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR), the student and young professional (SYP) group will host the Global Health Student and Young Professional Summit (GHSYPs Summit) as a pre-conference to the 24th Canadian Conference on Global Health. This conference will seek to provide a transformative learning space for students and young professionals involved in the field of global health to explore and evaluate change at the individual, organizational, and systemic levels.
The Canadian Conference on Global Health brings together practitioners, researchers, educators, students, policy makers and community mobilizers from more than 30 countries to share their knowledge and experience in global health. This year, the conference will focus on the theme of Fragile Environments and Global Health with the particular aim of examining the drivers of change in fragile environments. Subthemes will include the advancement of women and children’s health and rights, the politics of global health, SDGs and intersectoral collaboration for health, facilitating the humanitarian-development-health nexus, the social and economic inclusion of populations at risk, and Indigenous populations.
EARLY-BIRD REGISTRATION DEADLINE: September 6, 2017
Co-hosted by the International AIDS Society in collaboration with the Stop TB Partnership and the United States Agency for International Development, TB 2018 is an official pre-conference session of the 22nd AIDS International Conference. Under this year's theme, Bridging the TB and HIV Communities, this meeting will represent an opportunity to highlight the key scientific challenges relating to TB and TB/HIV research on prevention, diagnosis and treatment to set the stage for the UN General Assembly high-level meeting on TB.
All TB 2018 attendees must be registered for AIDS 2018 or have a pre-conference day pass; attendance will be on a first come first serve basis.
First convened in 1985, the International AIDS Conference is the largest global health conference in the world. Each conference is an opportunity to strengthen policies and programmes that ensure an evidence-based response to the AIDS epidemic. This year's theme, “Breaking Barriers, Building Bridges”, will draw attention to the need for rights-based approaches to more effectively reach key populations, including in Eastern Europe and Central Asia and the North-African/Middle Eastern regions.
Although women comprise as much as 75% of the health workforce in many countries, they hold only 8 of 24 World Health Organization executive board positions. This two-day conference hosted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine aims to highlight emerging and established women leaders in the field of global health to combat the lack of diversity and representation of women in global health leadership positions. Women from universities, nonprofits, governments, industry and other sectors from across the world are invited to participate in this movement to achieve greater gender equity in global health. Spaces are limited, so apply now!
The Quebec Population Health Research Network and its strategic groupings offer a variety of funding opportunities in the context of population health research, many of which are relevant to global health. Consult the list of ongoing funding opportunities hereto stay informed!
Through the leadership of the CIHR Personalized Health Initiative (PH), the CIHR Institute of Gender and Health is a member of GENDER-NET Plus - an international consortium of sixteen research funders in thirteen countries. These 16 partners from 13 countries have joined forces to launch a Joint Call for proposals, which will support research that aims to address urgent societal challenges through a sex and gender lens. GENDER-NET Plus members have chosen to take the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a point of departure for this Joint Call. GENDER-NET Plus invites applications that in the above outlined context, address and explore interactions and interdependencies explicitly between SDG 5 Gender Equality and one or more of the following SDGs: SDG 3 - Good health and well-being, SDG 9 - Infrastructure, Industrialization and Innovation, and SDG 13 - Climate Action, as outlined below. Applicants may choose to address one or more of the outlined topics. For any chosen topic, an interdisciplinary approach is needed, addressing the interplay between society – technology – culture. Research that addresses the social gender dimension is strongly encouraged.
Under the Federal Initiative to Address HIV/AIDS, this funding opportunity will focus solely on coordinated HIV research, seeking to ensure that focused teams (that may work in areas of higher risk) as well as large more expansive teams (that will bring together experts from different disciplines working collaboratively on a number of inter-related research projects under a unified program of research) have the opportunity to extend their innovative research and training efforts. To ensure that large teams are well positioned not only to generate important new knowledge but to also apply it in a timely fashion, their programs must include a strong core of basic scientists and clinical investigators. These teams must discuss training plans in order to build further capacity for HIV research and stimulate innovative approaches. They must also consider the relevance of their work to people living with HIV and the ethical implications of this work and, therefore, must include relevant stakeholders in the oversight of the program of research.
The Banting Postdoctoral Fellowships are awarded to highly deserving postdoctoral applicants by three of Canada’s federal granting agencies: the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). The program’s emphasis is on the synergy between applicants and host institutions and dictates that applicants must complete their application in full collaboration with a proposed host institution.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: September 19, 2018
Québec's most recent publications in global health
Welcome to the Students' Corner! This space is dedicated to the research, publications, experiences and work of students of Québec Universities, and can also serve as a platform to publicize events and activities organized by students in the realm of global health. We welcome submissions from any students who would like to contribute and see their material posted in our upcoming issues! If you are interested, get in touch with us via the RS-Santé mondiale email linked at the top and bottom of the newsletter.
The Canada Graduate Scholarships – Michael Smith Foreign Study Supplements (CGS-MSFSS) program supports high-caliber Canadian graduate students in building global linkages and international networks through the pursuit of exceptional research experiences abroad. By accessing international scientific research and training, CGS-MSFSS recipients will contribute to strengthening the potential for collaboration between Canadian institutions and other research institutions outside of Canada. This foreign study supplements program is available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents who hold a Joseph-Armand Bombardier, Alexander Graham Bell, or Frederick Banting and Charles Best Canada Graduate Scholarship (CGS) at the master's or doctoral level, or a Vanier CGS at the doctoral level.
APPLICATION DEADLINE: October 10, 2018 (2nd intake)
What we've been up to
Global Health Research Priorities for Canada - Montreal Consultation
On March 28, 2018, a group of 25 Québec researchers met to discuss global health research priorities for Canada. This meeting was organized by the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research (CCGHR) and the Regroupement stratégique en santé mondiale (RS-SM) of the Réseau de recherche en santé des populations du Québec (RRSPQ) as part of a wider initiative of Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-International Development Research Centre (IDRC) joint regional consultation meetings held in various Canadian cities in spring 2018. Representatives from McGill University, Université de Montréal and Université de Sherbrooke, many of them members of the RS-SM, were present at this Montreal meeting.
The overall aim of the meeting was to provide input into the shape of Canada's future efforts in global health research. The key discussion questions which were addressed, as well as a summary of the group's responses, are presented below:
What are the strengths in global health research in Canada both in terms of individual and institutional expertise?
Most participants expressed the belief that Canada's strengths lie foremost in methodological and structural aspects of research -- above different thematic areas. Consequently, the strengths identified were of a highly cross-cutting nature. These included capacity-building, knowledge translation, ethical standards in the conduct of research, collaborative partnerships, and cross-disciplinary research.
Are there emerging gaps in capacity that need to be addressed through future strategic investments? Are there upcoming areas of importance in global health research where Canada should invest in building capacity?
In keeping with the previous response, the group largely felt that funding calls should build on Canada's existing research strengths by focusing on the strategic and systemic components of global health research. The need for funding calls on cross-cutting topics and strategies, and a systems-based approach to funding was emphasized. Through coordination between funding agencies, the convergence of siloed funding streams (both at the thematic and institutional levels) could thus maximize the transformative power of Canadian investments. In addition, many called for greater capacity-building for sustainability in the creation of research partnerships with LMICs.
What are the current and emerging health challenges related to each of the themes?
Within the theme of health systems, the provision of quality health services, population movement and eHealth innovations were identified as current and emerging challenges. The theme of environmental health was also highlighted due to its many intersections with emerging health challenges such as poverty, gender equity, food security, urbanization, and infectious diseases.
What are the key knowledge gaps that need to be filled in order to address these challenges?
The key knowledge gaps discussed in relation to the above considerations included the need for evidence-based training programs, the generation of a wider knowledge base in implementation science and expertise in big data management and analysis.
Recognizing research budgets are limited, what would you recommend as the top 2-3 priorities for investment related to each of the themes?
The top two priorities for investment selected by the group were health services delivery, coverage and quality, and the health impacts of climate change. Many also argued that the Sustainable Development Goals framework should be referred to in order to set priorities.
Do you have further advice for CIHR and IDRC in terms of how we could best contribute to Canada's response to these issues?
Overall, the group emphasized the need for Canada to support the generation of researcher-driven proposals on cross-cutting themes within global health.
Thank you to all of the participants!
What have you been up to? Send us news of recent projects or accomplishments to be featured in this newsletter!