Students Voices: Publications feature insights on global health issues
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Students Voices: Publications feature insights on global health issues

Students in both the Global Health Advocacy and the Global Health Governance, Law and Politics courses are given the opportunity to have their insights related to numerous global health topics included in a series of publications titled Student Voices. Steven Hoffman, who teaches both classes, guides the students' work and edits the publications. Support for the design, production and printing of the publications is provided by the McMaster Health Forum and the Bachelor of Health Sciences program.

The first issue in the series was prepared by students who took the Global Health Advocacy course in the Winter 2010 term. Student Voices: Advocating for Global Health Through Evidence, Insight and Action offers a student perspective on five issues: internal displacement, disaster relief, water systems, gender-based violence and maternal health. The 18 students worked in groups to examine research and other relevant information, in order to offer creative insights on each topic.

Student Voices 2: Assessing Proposals for Global Health Governance, was prepared by the 20 students who took the Global Health Governance, Law and Politics course in the Fall 2010 term. Working in pairs or individually, the students prepared evidence-based assessments of 13 existing proposals for global health governance reform. The publication was the first time research and analysis that considers a broad range of proposed global health governance reforms has been undertaken.

Student Voices 3, written by the 25 students who took Global Health Advocacy in Winter 2011, focused on the pressing global health issues of surgical care, neglected tropical diseases, peak oil and sustainable energy, childhood obesity, and childhood pneumonia. Each of the five chapters explores the global political context in which decisions on the particular health topic of focus are made, identifies prevailing trends in the issue area, and considers advocacy strategies that concerned stakeholders can adopt to catalyze action.

Student Voices 4: Assessing Proposals for Access to Medicines Reform, was prepared by the Fall 2011 term students in the Global Health Governance, Law and Politics course, in collaboration with the Consultative Expert Working Group on Research & Development (CEWG) of the World Health Organization. The five chapters examine the evidence about and offer creative insights in assessing 15 reform proposals that CEWG considered to be the most promising in its work to stimulate innovation for health products and technologies related to diseases that affect developing countries.

Student Voices 5: Advocating for Global Health through Evidence, Insight and Action, focuses on five pressing global health issues: arms control, mental health, health worker migration, unsafe abortion, and rational use of medicines. Each chapter explores the global political context in which decisions on the specific topics were made, identifies prevailing trends, and considers advocacy strategies that can catalyze action. The report was written by students who took the Global Health Advocacy course from January to April of 2012.

Student Voices 6: Political Analyses of Five Global Health Decisions is an extensive review of available research evidence and views from key informant interviews on the topics of: inclusion of maternal health among the Millennium Development Goals; creation of the Global Alliance for Vaccines & Immunisation (GAVI); striving for coordination in global tuberculosis control via the Stop TB Partnership and the Global Plan to Stop TB; inclusion of malaria as a focus for the Global Fund; and adoption of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control. The report was written by students who took the Global Health Advocacy course from September to December of 2012.

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