This past November 2021, we took the opportunity to present our Mothering and Albinism research at the premier Global Health conference in Canada with a broad global reach.
First, we provide some background about the Canadian Conference on Global Health. For the first time, the joining of two predecessors, the Canadian Society of International Health (CSIH) and Canadian Coalition for Global Health Researchers (CCGHR), officially celebrated the launch of this merger in 2021 to become the Canadian Association for Global Health / Association Canadienne pour la santé mondiale (CAGH). In November 2021, CAGH held their Annual 27th Canadian Conference on Global Health / Conférence Canadienne sur la santé mondiale (CCGH), as a hybrid event in Ottawa, Canada (virtually and with small in-person gatherings) (2021b). As well, for the first time, the CAGH partnered with an International University, the University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS) in Ghana to host the conference. The Conference Co-chairs were, Professor Margaret Gyapong, Director of the Institute for Health Research, Coordinator at the Centre for Health Policy, and Implementation Research at UHAS, Ghana, alongside, Dr. Alison Krentel from the School of Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Ottawa, Canada. In addition, there was an impressive array of plenary speakers with her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary May Simon, the first Indigenous Governor General of Canada who provided the opening greetings for the conference. Followed by the Honourable Kwaku Agyeman Manu, Minister of Health from Ghana (2021b).
Second, the focus for the conference was to call for a shift in partnerships for global health to explore the urgency in evaluating partnerships locally and abroad to attain the United Nations’ (2015) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The emphasis was on a paradigm shift in the way that we work together exploring the complexity of the SDGs and the current state of the planet. The conference theme was “Rethinking partnership paradigms in global health” with three subthemes: Accounting for power and privilege to improve equity in partnerships; Lessons learnt from the global pandemic towards a more resilient systems; and Planetary health and opportunities for new partnership.
Our poster presentation Applying a decolonizing lens to a South Africa-Canada intersectoral partnership on mothering and albinism during the global pandemic was an excellent fit for the first conference sub-theme (Astle, Mgijima-Konopi, Buyco et al. 2021). We emphasized in our South-North partnership, and the critical importance of ongoing conversations to re-evaluate, clarify and contextualize our research with a decolonizing gender lens. In addition, we addressed how our ethnographic study is anchored in the South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTrC) framework (UNOSSC, 2021) and the Canadian Coalition of Global Health Principles as guides for equitable research partnerships (CCGHR, 2015; CIHR, 2021). The metrics for viewing our poster showed it was very well received, ranking as the fourth highest viewed by the conference attendees. We are grateful for this interest by the attendees as a way to bring attention to the human rights of mothers impacted by albinism, and as a reflection of the increasing awareness of the imperative of decolonizing global health research.
Astle, B., Mgijima-Konopi, I., Buyco, M., De Waal, M., Ero, I., Kromberg, J., Mazibuko, N., Mogale, S., Msipa, D., Reimer-Kirkham, S., Strobell, E., Thabethe, M., Tjope, M. (November 24 – 26th, 2021 [Virtual]). Applying a decolonizing lens to a South Africa-Canada intersectoral partnership on mothering and albinism during the global pandemic [Poster]. 27th Canadian Conference on Global Health/ Conférence Canadienne sur la santé mondiale. Ottawa & Virtual, Canada.
Canadian Coalition for Global Health Researchers (CCGHR). (2015). CCGHR Principles for Global Health Research. https://cagh-acsm.org/sites/default/files/principles-ghrcompanion-doc.pdf
Canadian Conference on Global Health / Conférence Canadienne sur la santé mondiale (CCGH). (2021a). https://cagh-acsm.org/en/events/canadian-conference-global-health
Canadian Conference on Global Health / Conférence Canadienne sur la santé mondiale. (CCGH). (2021b). Plenary speakers. https://cagh-acsm.org/en/events/canadian-conference-global-health
Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR). (2021). Global health 2.0: CIHR’s framework for action on global health research 2021-2026. https://cihrirsc.gc.ca/e/52503.html
United Nations (UN). (2015). Transforming our world: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. https://sdgs.un.org/2030agenda
United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC). (2021). About South-South and Triangular Cooperation. https://www.unsouthsouth.org/about/about-sstc/
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