Photos Credit: Tecnológico de Monterrey
The 16th APRU Global Health Conference 2023 took place from October 25 to 27 in Mexico City as the first in-person annual event of the Global Health Program after the Covid-19 pandemic.
Hosted by the School of Medicine and Health Sciences at Tecnológico de Monterrey, the conference attracted 98 public health experts and stakeholders from 26 institutions in 11 economies to exchange their insights into this year topic — Equity in Health — across thought-provoking panel discussions and working group meetings in three days. The event marked the first time that an APRU Global Health Conference was held in Latin America.
“The conference took place in a truly global spirit, with many renowned speakers with diverse global and public health expertise providing rich and valuable discussions on how precarious health disparities can be tackled,” said José Páez, Vice-Rector for International Affairs of Tecnológico de Monterrey.
The World Health Organization has pointed out that health equity won’t be achieved until everyone can attain their full potential for health and well-being. Populations that are disadvantaged by their social-economic status, geographic location, or environment are still exposed to many preventable differences in the burden of disease.
“I hope that this conference challenges and inspires us to do more to advance health equity around the world,” said Mellissa Wither, APRU’s Global Health Program Director and Associate Professor of Clinical Preventive Medicine at the University of Southern California. “Our collective work in global health research, practice, and education can promote values of mutual respect and cooperation.”
The 2023 Conference consisted of twelve panels in which participants discussed on issues ranging from delivering accessible and culturally sensitive healthcare, to migrant workers in Singapore, to the prevalence of neural tube defects in Latin America, and the impact of fortification.
Although many of the topics were based on local specifics, the presenters’ viewpoints were typically applicable to the whole of the Asia-Pacific. Matire Harwood, Head of Department of General Practice and Primary Healthcare at the University of Auckland , shared insights based on her experience of being a general practitioner and family physician at a Maori-led health clinic in South Auckland. The consequences of health disparities related to migration, and the effects of inequality on the health of indigenous populations.
“Understanding ethnic inequities requires a focus on the systems that create and sustain them, because that is the common factor across different countries, not indigenous peoples’ genes or behaviours,” Harwood said.
“As health leaders, we have a responsibility to ensure that nations monitor, and not accept, health inequities for indigenous peoples.”
The results of the APRU Global Health Virtual Case Competition and Student Poster Contest 2023 were announced during the conference.
Download the Program Book of the 16th APRU Global Health Conference 2023 for more details.
The 17th APRU Global Health Conference will be hosted by Chulalongkorn University’s School of Global Health in Bangkok, Thailand in November 2024.