A reflection on attending the 2018 Women Leaders in Global Health Conference: Dr Evelyn Kusi

Dr Evelyn Kusi is an MSc Public Health (2017) alumna, and medical doctor and researcher at the Charité (University Clinic Berlin). Evelyn spoke to us about her experience of attending the 2nd Women Leaders in Global Health Conference (WLGH) hosted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Evelyn chose to study at LSHTM in 2017 in order to deepen her understanding in the field of global public health as well as study with like minded peers who were striving and passionate about the subject. Evelyn said: “LSHTM gave me the opportunity to learn closely from leading experts in an environment that continuously demands to improve health for all.” Studying at LSHTM gave Evelyn the opportunity to advance her interest for advocacy and health policy, and also gave her the necessary skills to take these interests a step further.

Evelyn attended the Women Leader’s in Global Health Conference that was hosted by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine on 8th and 9th November 2018. Reflecting on her experience, Evelyn said: “the conference was inspirational and rewarding. I had the opportunity to meet hardworking leaders in the field – women and men, who gave me invaluable advice. I especially valued the mentoring breakfast and the workshops on leadership, which took a systematic approach to improve one’s own skillset.”

“There where many inspirational speakers for example Laurie Garrett for the in-depth situational analysis on gender bias in science. Ayoade Olatunbosun-Alakija for her courage to speak truth to power, and Dr Patty J. Garcia for her perseverance and determination. In the last session, Kavita Ramdas in her speech on the reflections to gender justice rounded the WLGH2018 up perfectly with her own quote – a perfect key message. “We need women who are so strong they can be gentle, so educated they can be humble, so fierce they can be compassionate, so passionate they can be rational, and so disciplined they can be free.”

A key message that Evelyn took away from the conference is that “making connections with likeminded peers and leaders and creating an enabling environment are galvanising ways to create a more equitable field in science. This is essential and beneficial to everyone working in the field and for everyone who the field of global health is working for.”

Evelyn closed by saying that “not everyone was so fortunate to attend this year’s WLGH2018, but this is gladly not a one-time event. I am pleased that next year the conference will be in Rwanda and the year after in Peru. I hope the Women in Global Health and Women Leaders in Global Health Initiative will excel into a strong global movement and a game changer for the next leaders in health – one connection and one stand at a time.”

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