The links between the WHO Collaborating Centre for Public Health Education and Training at Imperial College London and the Ministry of Higher Education and Research, Iraq have been growing strong for some time. The connection has now been sealed with the Face-to-face meeting on Tuesday 2o January 2015. Representatives of the WHO Collaborating Centre (Director: Professor Salman Rawaf, Dr Sondus Hassounah and Ms Ela Augustyniak) had a privilege to meet Minister of Higher Education and Research, Iraq, His Excellency Professor Hussein Al-Shahristani in person over lunch at South Kensington Campus, Imperial College London, 58 Prince’s Gardens. His Excellency was accompanied by the Iraqi Cultural Attache Professor Musa Almosawe.
Professor Al-Shahristani is a graduate from Imperial College London Chemical Engineering, and we are delighted that the Head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, Professor Andrew Livingston joined the group alongside Mrs Clare Turner, representative of the International Office at Imperial College London.
It is not surprising that the discussion had a reminiscing part where HE concluded building of the Chemical Engineering Department was very much as he remembered it from 50 years ago, but obviously familiar faces are missing. Education remained at the core of the conversation; and although the development of the technologies seem to imply the inevitable turn towards online education sessions more and more, the party reached an agreement on the irreplaceability of the face-to-face interaction and its unquestionable value in the education process. “It is not the equations and theories we remember from our studies, it is the people and personalities and their impact”, was the commonly agreed conclusion. His Excellency is very keen to strengthen the links with WHO Collaborating Centre in supporting the development and strengthening Iraqi universities and in particular the new Medical University under development in Baghdad. He welcomed the training of many Iraqi academia over the last few years and he emphasised the importance of the continuation of such collaborative work between Iraq and I-C-L.
Dr Al-Shahristani was accopmapnied by Dr Mosa Almosawie, the Cultural Attaché: a well know academic and the immediate past president of University of Baghdad, the largest university in Iraq.
The 7th Advanced Academic Training Course for Medical and Health Professional
Imperial College London, through its WHO Collaborating Centre for Education and Training, ran its 7th Advanced Academic Training Course from 24 November until 19 December 2014. The course was established in 2011, following the collaboration between the Iraqi Ministry of Higher Education and Research and Imperial College London. The aim of the Advanced Academic Training Course is to introduce the new methods of teaching and research to medical and health professionals who work in academia worldwide.
The course covers various aspects of skills-development disciplines, including communication skills, students’ assessment, Masters and PhDs examinations and small-group learning. Modern teaching and research skills development is achieved through interactive learning and hands-on experience through highly advanced skill labs, attending undergraduate students’ clinical teachings in primary care, community and hospital settings.
WHO CC at the RESCAP-MED 2nd Regional Symposium on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) – Beirut, Lebanon (3 -4 Dec 2014)
Our WHO CC volunteer for the period between July and September 2014, Dr Jara Valtueña (ImFine Research Group/ Department of Health and Human Performance-Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, Spain), has been accepted to present a poster on the “Impact of the 2010 popular uprising: Ramification on morbidity, mortality and social determinants of health in four countries from the MENA region” at the RESCAP-MED 2nd Regional Symposium on Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) entitled “Socio-political Challenges in the Mediterranean Region: Implications for NCD Prevention and Control” which took place in Beirut, Lebanon from the 3rd -4th December 2014 . This Symposium aims to bring together researchers and public health actors to present, document and debate prospects for action in NCD surveillance, management, control and prevention, within the context of recent geo-political developments in the region.
Her poster reflects the work she conducted with the research team at WHO CC, which she and the team are currently preparing for publication.
Dr Alex Chen, new PhD student, presenting at the UK parliament on unethical organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China. London, UK (25 Nov 2014)
On Tuesday, 25 November, Dr Julian Huppert MP hosted a forum in UK Parliament addressing unethical organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience in China and how this pertains to residents in the UK. Guest speakers included David Matas and Hon. David Kilgour who were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their investigative work on organ harvesting in China; award-winning research journalist, Ethan Gutmann, who’s book on this topic “The Slaughter” was published in September; and Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting EU representative, and our most recent PhD student, Dr. Alex Chen.
Dr Chen presented on unethical organ harvesting from Chinese prisoners, and discussed the global responses from the international community in terms of legislation and the far sounding-impact on organ transplantation around the world.
Medical and Health Research course
From 8 to 19 December 2014, the WHO Collaborating Centre hosted its first Health and Medical Research course for health professionals. For two weeks, 20 participants attended lectures by key researchers from the Department of Primary Care and Public Health on topics ranging from qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to setting international and national priorities for health and medical research. Participants were extremely pleased with the high quality of the course and the sessions and expressed their intention to implement what they have learnt in their own research institutes.
Update from WHO CC Fellows
In the last few months, WHO CC welcomed three new fellows: Dr Saad Al Saad, Dr Zahea Alnoumasi, and Dr Thamer AlOhali, all from Saudi Arabia. We trust their time with the Centre will be fruitful and satisfying , and will broaden their career perspectives fort he future.
Ela Augustyniak and Dr Alex Chen
WHO Collaborating Centre