International Experiences - Our students' impressions
View the latest impressions from students who have recently returned from their travels to our partner universities around the world.
Addressing health needs in Myanmar
Sydney Medical School has held talks with partners in Myanmar about a range of initiatives to improve the country’s health services, including a joint Institute for Maternal and Child Health.
Professor Merrilyn Walton, Associate Dean International, visited Myanmar in May to assess the country’s health needs and priorities, and for talks with medical universities, agencies and senior officials from the Ministry of Health.
Low investment in health services in Myanmar has had a damaging impact, particularly on women and children. Around 1 in 14 children die before the age of five and only 54 per cent of children complete five years of primary schooling.
Professor Bruce Robinson, the Dean of Medicine, has identified Myanmar as a priority country for the Office for Global Health and two scholarships are being provided for medical students from Myanmar to study in Sydney. SMS is also sending a high-level delegation to Myanmar in November.
Professor Walton held discussions with Myanmar’s two leading medical universities about staff and student exchange and research collaborations.
Further talks were held about training courses in medical education, field epidemiology, health policy development, health service management and improving access to health care for rural and remote regions,
She was accompanied on the visit by Ms Senice So, International Relations Manager in the Office for Global Health.
Research collaboration discussions with our Chinese partners
Sydney Medical School has held talks with Fudan Institute of Global Health about a joint public health project in Timor Leste.
Sydney Medical School staff visited Fudan University, Peking University Health Science Centre, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine and the Chinese University of Hong Kong in April to meet partners and explore new areas of research.
Potential collaborations were identified in areas including rural health policy, rural health service delivery, primary health care, bioinformatics, tissue banks, and clinical trials in cancer, diabetes, obesity, neuroscience, and cardiovascular disease.
A joint symposium will be held at Peking University Health Science Centre in late October on the training of health professionals in China. An exchange program for a master of public health is also being discussed with Peking.
In Shanghai delegates were briefed about the Translational Medicine Research Centre at Ruijin Hospital affiliated with Shanghai Jiaotong University, an RMB900 million investment by the Chinese Government. The forthcoming joint symposium between SMS and Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, being held at Sydney on 12 August, will focus on translational research to identify research projects for the new Centre.
A joint public health project in Timor Leste was discussed with the Fudan Institute of Global Health, and is likely to involve postgraduate students from both universities working together in Timor Leste. The Australian and Chinese governments signed a memorandum of understanding in April to work together to deliver foreign aid to poorer communities in the Asia-Pacific Region.
AusAID funded capacity building in the Asia Pacific and African countries
The Sydney Medical School (SMS) at the University of Sydney has received funding for two fellowship programs, funded by AusAID, in round 13 of the Australia Awards Fellowships program. The Australian government has provided $13.4 million to 37 Australian organisations, to support 58 Fellowships involving 733 Fellows this round, with the programs commencing from June 2013.
The two programs funded in the Sydney Medical School involve a total of 36 fellows from the Asia Pacific and African countries.
The Timor Leste Health Leaders Program – Developing Timorese health leaders has selected 16 fellows from the Ministry of Health and other health and health education organisations in Timor Leste to participate in this program. With a population of 1.2 million, Timor Leste is the poorest country in the Asia Pacific region and has an under-skilled health workforce. In 2008, the Timor Leste Ministry of Health identified to the University of Sydney the need to develop the health workforce; culminating in the establishment of the Timor Leste Health Leaders Program in 2009. The program has run in previous years and continues its goal with the Round 13 funding, to identify current and potential health leaders and assist in their development to become leading health professionals (clinicians, nurses, public health workers, managers, policymakers, researchers and educators). The program will strengthen the capacity of the health workforce in Timor Leste, which will improve the long-term health of the population and result in better health outcomes.
The Global Intensive Professional Program in HIV (GIPPH) has selected 20 fellows from Indonesia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. The HIV/AIDS epidemic needs professionally trained clinicians, researchers and public health practitioners who understand and apply concepts related to the epidemiology of HIV and Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs), the impact of HIV and STIs on high-risk and vulnerable populations, the clinical management of HIV and STIs, the development and implementation of evidence-based policy and health promotion, social marketing strategies and an understanding of how to refine strategies through conduct of research. The program provided by SMS in collaboration with Sydney Business School and in partnership with the Kirby Institute provides a comprehensive evidence-based overview of HIV/STI prevention and management of in a multidisciplinary learning environment and also provides opportunities to enhance professional experience and develop networks by attendance at the Australasian HIV/AIDS conference, visits to Centres of Excellence and leadership development. At the end of the program, participants will be able to use their skills to build program and research capacity and contribute to the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS in their home countries.
2012 AUSAID Development Research Awards Scheme Funding Round Success
A project entitled "The impact of scholarships on strengthening the health system in Africa: an assessment of selection models", was funded in the recent round of the AusAID Development Research Awards Scheme (ADRAS). The 2012 ADRAS round funded AUD28.7 million worth of research (45 successful research grants) across the eight priority themes of Africa, Disability-inclusive development, Education, Gender, Health, Mining for development, Scholarships and Water, sanitation and hygiene.
The project, led by researchers in the School of Public Health, Sydney Medical School, and and the Graduate School of Government, , will examine the outcomes of Australian scholarships for Africans including re-integration and development of networks of practice among returnees. The research was awarded AUD457,408 and will focus on Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique.
Further information about the AusAID ADRAS program and successful recipients in this round can be found at http://www.ausaid.gov.au/research/Pages/adras.aspx
AsiaBound Grants Program 2014
The AsiaBound Grants Program 2014 Round is now open.
This is a wonderful opportunity for MBBS and MIPH students to apply for funding to support their international experiences. The eligible destinations include a large number of Asian countries, and there is funding to support short term study, language grants and increased OS-HELP loans.
More information may be downloaded here.
The grant application round closes on 20th May 2013.
International Women's Day Forum 2013
Integrating care in the perinatal period: crucial to mother and child survival in resource-poor settings
The University of Sydney and Medicins Sans Frontieres joint forum on "Integrating care in the perinatal period: crucial to mother and child survival in resource-poor settings" was held on Monday evening, 11th March in the Eastern Avenue Auditorium. The free event was held to celebrate International Women’s Day and was attended by around 80 students and professionals.
The presentations from the three invited speakers were very well received and featured (Professor, International Maternal and Child Health, Sydney School of Public Health, University of Sydney and Clinical Academic Neonatologist, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney), who gave a very informative overview of the global burden of perinatal versus maternal death, (Medical Advisor-Women’s Health, Médecins Sans Frontières) who introduced the perinatal approaches and challenges for facility-based care in medical-humanitarian programmes and (AusAID scholarship recipient and Masters of International Public Health student, University of Sydney) who explained the challenges for maternal and child health care at the frontline in western Indonesia, where she works as a doctor.
The presentations are available for viewing below.