“What does global health mean to you?”

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“I think it’s our responsibly as the human race to look out for each other despite any differences when it comes to government or religious views or race,” said Jonathan, a student from Rock University High School, on his definition of global health.

Jonathan was one of 40 students from seven area schools who was welcomed to University of Wisconsin-Madison for High School Global Health Day: “Opening Doors to the World.” Led by Sweta Shrestha, the UW-Madison Global Health Institute’s assistant director for education, the program aimed to leave students with a better understanding of how social circumstances and environmental resources influence health.
In partnership with the Area Health Education Centers, the students enjoyed a full day of programming including a privilege walk, a Q&A with a panel of college students, and an activity that allowed them to discuss the implications of foreign medical aid by college students without training.

dsc02766Students from Partners in Health Engage and Globe Med, two student organizations on campus, helped ensure the success of the event while sharing their knowledge and insights with the visiting students.

After the day of activities, we were curious to know how these future health professionals interpreted global health.

We asked them one question. “Based on what you’ve learned today, what does global health mean to you?”
Here’s what they said.

  • “I think that global health is doing the same thing as public health – but its more across national borders. Something that helps in one country may not help in another one. Pushing medication on a country that you deem needs it may not be the cause. Say there’s a lack of a good water supply that causing the sickness, you’re not actually fixing the problem by just supplying medicine, so you have to learn that different things are needed in different countries.” –Ashtin, Rock University High School
  • “I can’t just think that everybody has what they need. There are going to be people that need more help, and that we should help. We should provide the things they can’t get themselves. We can do more to help.” –Alexia, Janesville Craig
  •  dsc02661-1“How people interact with their surroundings, their cultures and society to get medicine and how they interact with medicine as a whole.” –Sydney, Sun Prairie
  • “After today, we’ve learned that global health isn’t so much the well-being of individual countries, it’s the well-being of countries in relation to each other. We’re not just striving to be the best for our own countries, we want to be able to assist and help other countries who may not have the resources or capabilities of providing a good health system to its citizens. So I think its our responsibly as the human race to look out for each other despite any differences when it comes to government or religious views or race – I think it’s an obligation.” –Jonathan, Rock University High School
  • “Global health is when people have physical and mental well-being. We have to know that not everyone has the same resources and we have to be understanding of that.” –Alicia, Janesville Craig
  • “Global health is watching out for the well-being of others while putting in their culture and religion as an aspect and not just only providing what they need and finding the source but figuring out how it fits in with their culture.” –Ryott, Rock University High School

By Catherine Goslin/ Nov. 30, 2016.

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