This field trip connected early career researchers in global health with partners at the WHO, UNICEF, the Foundation for Innovative Diagnostics (FIND), and the University of Geneva. The participants – 18 early career GLOHRA members – represented a variety of research institutions, disciplines and research areas.
Participants valued the trip as a unique and enriching experience that provided new perspectives and deeper understandings of global health research as an interdisciplinary area united for one purpose. They appreciated the opportunity to meet and network with like-minded fellows from diverse research and cultural backgrounds in lively, interactive sessions.
A wide range of topics were covered, from the organizational structures of and communication within the United Nations, to concrete examples of how innovation can improve health outcomes.
The trip began with insights into the wide range of UN agencies contributing to global health. Participants received an overview of the many UN activities such as developing health technologies for diseases of poverty (WHO), large-scale implementation research (UNICEF), and global health ethics (WHO) which rely on and contribute to interdisciplinary research in global health. The day ended with a career session for researchers interested in working for and with the WHO.
The second day started with a visit at FIND, a product development partnership that engages collaboration with stakeholders to facilitate the development, evaluation, and implementation of diagnostic tests for poverty-related diseases in the global south. A presentation on trends in global health and global digital health at the Institute of Global Health (University of Geneva) situated the research involved in medical capacity building via eLearning, tele-ultrasonography and early warning system to predict crisis. Afterward, the early career researchers had the opportunity to visit the UN Palais des Nations, one of the world’s largest diplomatic conference centers.
On the third day, a visit to the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum facilitated participants to explore the humanitarian obligations of global health. The museum especially emphasizes the tasks of ensuring human dignity, restoring family links, and reducing natural risks.
Overall, participants enjoyed the opportunity to get to know other GLOHRA members, forge connections with international agencies and learn how global health research functions in private and policy sectors.