Engaging Future Leaders in Global Health

“The biggest challenges we face today will be solved by 60 % of the world’s population under the age of 30.”(1)Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the New York University Commencement Ceremony

The Role of Education in Fostering Global Competency

Educational institutions and organizations should implement global competency training in order to prepare and empower future leaders in global health. Hands-on education and experience should also give them comprehensive exposure to global issues such as poverty and how it affects education, healthcare and economic opportunities. 

Engaging With Best Practices in Global Health

It is important for participants to be engaged in experiences that teach them about the world beyond the classroom. Global health is best learned from local social entrepreneurs who are directly involved in eliminating health and education disparities.

It is equally important that participants be engaged in best practices in volunteerism, global health, and international development. In spite of good intentions, international health work that does not follow global health best practices can be wasteful, unethical, and harmful. Worst practices are serious public health concerns that create new and oftentimes more substantial barriers to patient care, thereby reinforcing and furthering health disparities and the cycle of poverty. These worst practices also often violate concepts of social justice and human rights. Many global health endeavors take the form of short-term medical missions, which undermine the local health care system and frequently harm patients. Oftentimes young people who participate in these short-term interventions continue participating in similar worst practices when they become professionals, and they never have an opportunity to gain an understanding about the importance of best practices in public health. Unite For Sight instills in its Global Impact Fellows a comprehensive understanding of best practices in global health and the vital importance for all programs to be locally led and managed by local healthcare professionals. Furthermore, we require Global Impact Fellows to complete extensive pre-departure training in global health, cultural competency, and social entrepreneurship. Upon arriving abroad, our Global Impact Fellows participate in village outreach programs that are designed and led by local eye care professionals. By placing special emphasis on best practices in global health and social entrepreneurship, Unite For Sight strives to establish a network of future leaders in global health who will successfully achieve global goals.

Unite For Sight's Globally-Competent Alumni

Unite For Sight's globally-competent alumni are the change-makers of today. Driven by their idealism and enthusiasm, they can bring innovative ideas and fresh insights to the table, building a better world for all. They embrace diversity of ethnicity, religion, age, gender, culture, cognitive ability, life experiences, etc. Their important skills include acceptance of and respect for different cultures, the ability for cross-cultural communication, and a comprehensive understanding of global health. They can synthesize academic knowledge from comparative fields, and use an interdisciplinary, culturally-appropriate approach to tackle global issues. Equipped with these skills and ethical dispositions, Unite For Sight's globally-competent alumni are ready to make a difference in the world.

Footnotes

(1) Clinton, Hillary Rodham. "Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton at the New York University Commencement Ceremony Read more: http://www.america.gov/st/texttrans-english/2009/May/20090514101708eaifas0.485409.html#ixzz0MgP1yJFb." New York University. Yankee Stadium, New York. 13 May 2009. Performance.