Thursday saw LSTM play host to the 3rd Annual Health in Humanitarian Settings: Research Symposium. Students and staff from a number of British and European educational and research institutions, along with a variety of participants from many different NGOs, got together to debate the challenges of delivering effective healthcare in humanitarian settings.
The symposium was a forum for original research, with papers being delivered around four central themes: Policy in Practice: Accountability in Aid; Health in Conflict: Provision and Providers; Trauma: From Reaction to Rehabilitation and Hidden Humanitarianism: Taboo Topics and Invisible populations. Each of the sessions had a chair, and there were key note speeches from Leigh Dayes, the Executive Director of Doctors of the World/Médecins du Monde and Professor Simon Hay, a Research Fellow at St John’s College Oxford and the President of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
Along with the oral presentations there was also an opportunity to view a number of poster presentations with titles as diverse as “Deafness in Developing Countries”, “Progression of Millennium Development Goals in Occupied Palestine” and “What is the Best Approach to Measles Eradication in Today’s World?” The poster presentations along with oral presentations were judged by a panel of experts and awards were presented at the end of the afternoon.
E. Tillson from King’s College won the Award for best poster presentation on ‘Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health in Conflict-affected populations’ and James Smith from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine took the top honours among the oral presentations on ‘Where’s the evidence? A systematic review of evidence base for public health interventions in humanitarian crises.’ Both presentations had the ideal combination of well-presented study methodologies and clear visual presentation.
The event was closed by LSTM’s Professor Barry Munslow, who has played a central role in the design and delivery of LSTM’s Humanitarian Assistance training programmes and many of the day’s participants then took part in an evening event nearby, which included photographs and short films exploring the themes of humanitarian health.
The symposium organiser, Stephanie Raybould, a final year medical student at the University of Liverpool and a recent graduate of LSTM, was pleased with the day’s outcomes: “This was our third annual event and it was a great success. The papers sparked some very useful debate around the central themes, and the poster presentations were all of a very high standard. It was great to see everybody mixing and networking at the evening event and I hope that the audience and the participants found the whole day as rewarding as myself and the organising committee did.”