Health, Government and third sector leaders spoke at the he Global Citizenship conference by Wales and Africa Health Links Network and Hub Cymru Africa on 3- 4 November.
Chief Executive of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs said: “The conference inspired audiences – it made links between past internationalism and current activity, and fostered cooperation across borders and to foster joint actions leading towards a fairer world. It was inspiring to hear from speakers across Wales and around the world and I think everyone left buzzing with enthusiasm and ideas.”
The event opened with Dr Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales, and Dr Kit Chalmers, Head of Policy and Learning THET, sharing their knowledge about the Global Health Partnerships between Wales and the African continent. Dr Chalmers emphasised the multiple capacities and strengths the Welsh Government have which they could use to actively engage in Official Development Assistance (ODA) financing across the world – she made this a call to action.
In the afternoon, the Minister for Social Justice, Jane Hutt, spoke about social justice and Wales’ role in international health cooperation.
Later, Craig Owen, Heritage Advisor for the WCIA, explored global solidarity in Wales over the last 100 years and highlighted the relationships between peace and health. He prompted attendees to think: “What can we learn from our history?”
Wednesday concluded with Professor Edward Kunonga and Dr Kelechi Nnoaham discussing the impact Covid-19 has had on Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people during and after 2020 and 2021’s pandemic.
Day 2 opened with Sue Tranka, Chief Nursing Officer for Wales. During her speech, she emphasised the importance of nurses and midwives and the links between these professionals in Africa and Wales.
Her speech was followed by the launch of new e-learning modules in Global Citizenship for NHS staff. WCIA’s Chief Executive, Susie Ventris-Field, Dr Liz Green, Consultant in Public and International Health Public Health Wales, and Dr Gill Richardson, Deputy Chief Medical for Public Health Wales (Vaccines) explained the modules and answered questions.
In the afternoon, Prof. Dianne Watkins and Rhiannon Beaumont-Wood, explored nurse leadership in Africa.
Dr Choolwe Jacobs spoke from Zambia on progress in maternal health. She specifically mentioned the effects of Covid-19 on the Zambian society and how the international context of aid budget cuts and a decline of health standards has had an impact.
Prof Kamila Hawthorne, from Swansea University talked about her university’s approach to anti-racism, including the barriers.
The conference concluded with a showcase of health links between Kenya, Lesotho, Wales and Liberia.