Special Reflection: Relevance of International Community Health and the world today.

Just reflects back since the creation of the world. How was it? How did it look like? What I know and believe is that, when the world was created, it had no boundaries. There was no country or region but rather it was simply called the world. But due to many reasons, the world had to be in regions (from largest size region to smallest size region). These regions include seven continents of the world ( Asia, Africa, America, South, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia), Country’s unions like (United states ,European union, African union etc), individual countries like Norway, Tanzania, Switzerland,  to the smallest parts like province, districts, wards or commune etc. Initially it was thought that, having these smaller regions and govern them separate will be the key to solution of many issues.

Focus on specific locality is no longer feasible in the world of today. There are many challenges affecting the world today; you talk economically, politically, socially including health. If you think critically in term of health, health challenges are no longer local, national or regional but they are global and interconnected. And because they are global, the only way of addressing them should be globally and in Partnership.

The word “Inter” means between, “international” means between Nation(s). I can define International community health as the science of dealing with health across regional or national boundaries. With the existing effect of globalization, the inter-regional distances have been reduced, smashing down old barriers, and connecting people together. “It has also made problems half way around the world everyone’s problem. And we know that, like a stone thrown on the waters, a difficult social or economic situation in one community can ripple and resonate around the world”. In order to address these health challenges, health gaps or problems must be identified first and the best way of finding gaps in health is through research.

Introduction of masters in International Community Health at the University of Oslo was timely. “M.Phil programme is a research based program which enable the student who comes from different parts of the world to acquire knowledge and skills to develop and expand their capacity to understand and critically assess issues related to international community health from global to local level”. On the other hands, this is a program which have created network of researchers scattered all over the world since its inception. Every year, a number of health problems (from communicable to non communicable) are identified by young researchers from all over the world. The findings acquired are shared by to the whole world in helping to address similar challenges occurring in other parts of the world. This is one of the great marks which the University of Oslo through its Department of community medicine has greatly contributed globally.

We should be proud to be part of this global network of young researchers at the University of Oslo.