Harvard Global Health Catalyst Summit - Catalyzing high impact international collaborations

Last month on Africa2U, I hosted Dr. Lydia Asana, Coordinator of the Harvard Global Health Catalyst Summit, and Dr. Bashkim Ziberi, a member of the 2019 Summit’s Abstract Committee from the Department of Radiation Oncology at Harvard Medical School, to chat about the different ways low to medium income countries can benefit from collaboration and partnership in the health sector through Harvard Medical School’s Global Health Catalyst.

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The Global Health Catalyst program is funded by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Studies at Harvard University, the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute of Harvard Medical School, and a growing number of funding agencies and industry partners with goal to catalyze high impact international collaborations to eliminate global health disparities, primarily focusing on cancer and related diseases.

Dr. Ziberi and Dr. Asana highlighted some of the low-cost technologies that increase access to care, and approaches for global health that have been developed through this initiative, including “tiny drone” cancer therapy using nanotechnology that targets the tumor sites without having side effects. Dr. Wilfred Ngwa, a medical physicist and member of the African diaspora, developed this technology. The catalyst program also encourages local knowledge through the cloud system and tumor boards which doctors in participating  countries that do not have resources to interpret results.

They described the process through which the abstract committee receives and selects abstracts from around the world, including summit participants; collaboration between GHCS, Cures Within Reach and foreign governments; the diaspora’s role in paving the way for African receptiveness to health programs; and benefits of collaborations in healthcare for communities in Africa.

Dr. Asana noted that at this year’s summit, top diaspora organizations will compete for the Harvard GHC Diaspora Impact Award, and attendees will have opportunities to enhance their skills by participating in leadership training. The nomination form and more information are available at: https://www.globalhealthcatalystsummit.org/agenda