The 2017 annual international conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) took place April 8-12, 2017, in Hammamet, Tunisia. The theme of the conference, which was held in conjunction with the World Summit on Social Accountability, was “Improving the Impact of Educational Institutions on People’s Health.” The program included keynote addresses, didactic sessions, workshops, and poster sessions related to this theme.
One highlight of the conference was the session presenting winners of the fifth annual Projects That Work competition, sponsored and organized by FAIMER, which showcased six projects that have been successfully addressing missions related to the conference theme for three years or longer. An annual feature of The Network: TUFH conference, Projects That Work recognizes excellent projects that have succeeded beyond initial implementation and have had a significant impact on health, the community, or the school, in order to encourage the development, implementation, and dissemination of more such projects. An open worldwide call resulted in 27 submissions, from which six were selected by an international panel of 20 reviewers.
The winning 2017 Projects That Work projects were represented at the conference by (pictured above, left to right) Mercedes Bernadá (Uruguay), Safinah Kisu Museene (Uganda), Esoh Godfrey Nji (Cameroon), Pushpanjali Krishnappa (India), Jana Muller (South Africa), and Julieta Dorado (Philippines). The session was moderated by Ralf Graves, FAIMER Director of Regional Institutes. The projects were presented in a combined panel discussion/poster presentation format to maximize potential for collaboration and sharing between attendees and presenters.
The conference also featured the winners of the third annual Student Projects for Health competition. Sponsored by FAIMER and GEMx, the Student Projects for Health competition recognizes the work of students who have made outstanding contributions to projects that successfully promote community health and well-being. The competition was open to all undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in any course of study who have been participating in such projects. An open worldwide call resulted in 130 submissions from which 14 projects were selected by an international panel of 23 reviewers. The students produced posters describing their work, which they presented during two interactive sessions.
Projects That Work and Student Projects for Health will also be features of the next Network: TUFH conference to be held in Limerick, Ireland, August 16-20, 2018. Applications are expected to open in early 2018.