All Eyes on Global Health

JUNE 13, 2011 12:06 AM| no comments

The excitement is rising here at WebsEdge as we get ready for one of our favorite events of the year – the Global Health Council’s annual conference.  The theme this year is Securing a Healthier Future in a Changing World and as usual it takes place at the Omni Shoreham hotel in Washington DC.

We’ve been covering the Council’s annual event as Global Health TV now for six years. It’s always a really interesting mix of speakers and networking sessions and I’m sure this year will be no exception. But the theme this year is different. It takes a look at the challenges facing health systems in developing countries as population’s age.

It’s an issue we’re all only too familiar with in our own countries. But when resources are truly scarce the problem is a lot more acute.  It’s hard enough keeping people alive when faced with diseases such as AIDS and Malaria. But it’s a whole different set of challenges when you need to deal with non-communicable diseases such as cancer and kidney disease. And it has a whole set of implications for health spending and capacity building.

As always we’re not going to Washington empty handed. Whilst I can’t wait to meet and interview old friends and new I also take great delight in showing the case study films we’ve made from literally all over the world. And this year is no exception with organizations represented as diverse as the World Bank Foundation and the Aga Khan Network. And countries visited including South Africa, Afghanistan and Mali.

One thing that I have noticed change over the years is the audience. The conference itself has always drawn a devout following of doctors, aid agencies, NGO’s and other global health professionals. But the rise of social media has meant an ever-engaged population. This year, for example, the number of people following our progress on The Lancet has risen to over 300, 000 a month. It used to be you couldn’t get an audience for your global health message – but that’s  changed. We’re no longer preaching to the choir.

So it is time to pack our bags. We’re going somewhere very familiar but to an event that in many ways has changed out of all recognition since six years ago.

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