Universitas 21 (U21) Health Sciences Group pledged to support United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDGs), particularly goals related to health at its ongoing annual conference.
The three-day conference, kicked off on Sept. 27, has been taken place at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong. The group shares knowledge and experience in health care and health sciences education with the aim to develop leadership in students in promoting health and helping the poor, as well as to imbue global values of professionalism, ethics, and social responsibility in future health professionals.
During the conference, the group launched an ambitious program and project to support United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UNMDGs), particularly goals related to health -- such as reducing child mortality, improving maternal health, combating AIDS ( Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome), malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability.
The UNMDGs were instituted in 2000 by 189 Heads of Government in the Millennium Declaration where these UN member states pledged their support for ending extreme poverty in the world by the year 2015.
According to U21, 15 medical and dental faculties around the world has come together to develop a global partnership for development and an educational strategy on UNMDGs training, with participation of medical and health sciences students and staff from U21 partner universities.
At the conference, apart from discussions on medical and health sciences education and research, participants also conduct workshops such as E-Health and Leadership in Health Sciences Education.
A fair number of students from U21 medical faculties have already participated in the project helping the poor in developing countries and regions like Cameroon, the Spiti Valley in India, Rural Mexico to promote health education, introduce health screening and deworming programs.
These were valuable experiences for students to understand health problems in developing countries, and stimulated them to think about their future career goals as a health professional.
The group has produced a student guide for health sciences students by citing examples of work medical students have done in developing countries and underserved population. The aim is to inspire others to participate in activities related to UNMDGs, with a view to realizing UNMDGs for the betterment of our global community.
U21 is an international network of more than 20 leading research-intensive universities around the world. Established in 1997, the network serves as an international reference point and resource for strategic thinking on issues of global significance and facilitates large-scale collaboration and cooperation among member universities.