Médicins sans Frontières veteran, UW Zika panel headline Global Health Symposium

The 12th annual Global Health Symposium at the University of Wisconsin–Madison will feature a keynote address by a Médicins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) veteran and a Zika Virus Panel that will highlight how researchers at UW–Madison are contributing to understanding and stopping the virus.

The 2106 symposium, hosted by the Global Health Institute with support from the UW–Madison International Division and Lectures Committee, will be held Wednesday, March 30, starting at 4:30 p.m., in the Health Sciences Learning Center, 750 Highland Ave. The symposium is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

“The Global Health Symposium is an opportunity for campus and the community to experience UW’s response to the complex and interlinked determinants of health and disease,” says GHI Director Jonathan Patz. “I am especially excited about our Zika panelists, who are on the front lines of innovative and immediate responses that will benefit human and animal health.”

James Conway, GHI associate director for health sciences and professor of pediatrics, will moderate a Zika Virus Panel for a look at research across campus to help understand and stop the virus. The mosquito-borne virus has spread rapidly in Central and South America and may be connected to birth defects and neurological disorders.

Dr. Mohammed Dalwai
Dr. Mohammed Dalwai

Dr. Mohammed Dalwai, president of Médicins sans Frontières Southern Africa, will give the keynote address on Global Crises: Today’s Response, Tomorrow’s Hope. He is co-founder of The Open Medicine Project South Africa and has worked with MSF in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Haiti and Sierra Leone.

Dalwai has observed patients dying because they were not correctly triaged. The Open Medicine Project created a mobile triage app that, in Western Cape, has led to an 88 percent improvement in triage completion.

Dalwai, who was recognized as a 2014 TED Fellow, is collaborating with Janis Tupesis, a faculty member in UW–Madison’s Department of Emergency Medicine and GHI-Graduate Medical Education liaison, to create a mobile app for emergency medicine.

(Dalwai and Tupesis will talk about building mobile apps for health in a Global Health Seminar presentation War, Tech and Health: How working under fire inspired an app to improve care, Thursday, March 31, 5 p.m. at Union South.)

The Global Health Symposium attracts about 300 participants each year. Nearly 40 live and poster presentations showcase the breadth of global health projects at UW–Madison. From clinical medicine to basic science, and education to nutrition, faculty, staff, and students are working with partners in Wisconsin and around the world to improve life for all.

Global Health Symposium schedule:

  • 4:30 pm – Registration/check in and poster viewing
  • 5:00 pm – Welcome and announcements
  • 5:15 pm – Keynote address
  • 6:20 pm – Concurrent oral presentations
  • 7:00 pm – Zika Virus Panel
  • 8:00 pm – Poster session and reception

– by Ann Grauvogl, Global Health Institute