The 2015 annual international conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) took place September 12-16, 2015, in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Held jointly with the annual conference of the South African Association for Health Educationalists (SAAHE), the conference theme was “Education for Change.” The program included keynote addresses, didactic sessions, workshops, and poster sessions related to this theme, as well as site visits to local community health care facilities.
A highlight of the 2015 Network: TUFH conference was the session presenting winners of the third annual Projects That Work competition, sponsored and organized by FAIMER, which showcased five 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 30 submissions, from which five were selected by an international panel of 13 reviewers.
The winning 2015 Projects That Work projects were represented at the conference by (pictured above, left to right) Rukhsana Ayub Aslam (Pakistan), Aminkeng Zawuo Leke (Cameroon), Carolina Araújo Damasio Santos (Brazil), Vidyadhar Balkrishna Bangal (India), and Suvetha Kannappan (India). The session was moderated by Ralf Graves, FAIMER Director of Regional Institutes. The projects were presented in a combined panel discussion/workshop format to maximize potential for collaboration and sharing amongst attendees.
This year’s conference also featured the introduction of a new program highlight. Sponsored by FAIMER and GEMx®, the Student Projects for Health competition recognized 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 73 submissions from which 17 students were selected by an international panel of 20 reviewers. The students produced posters describing their work, which they presented during an interactive session of the conference.
Projects That Work and Student Projects for Health will also be features of the next Network: TUFH conference to be held in Shenyang, China, July 26-30, 2016. Applications for both competitions will open in early January. Look here for an announcement.