Dunedin to host global health conference

Dr Patrick Vakaoti
Dr Patrick Vakaoti
A global health conference in Dunedin this week will boost New Zealand’s international reputation for its effective response to Covid-19, organisers say.

Otago Global Health Institute co-director Dr Patrick Vakaoti said the institute’s latest annual two-day conference was devoted to "Shared Humanity and Global Health".

Most of the gathering’s 80 participants were based in New Zealand, but also included were many global health practitioners, and the event would attract international attention.

"The impact is going to be wider than New Zealand," Dr Vakaoti said.

There were lessons the rest of the world could learn from us.

In its efforts to overcome Covid-19, New Zealand had emphasised kindness and humanity and had also tried to overcome social exclusion.

"It’s a leadership that used science, that used data, that used facts," he said.

The health gathering will start on Wednesday and all appropriate Covid-19 social distancing and hygiene precautions would be taken.

The pandemic meant that Canada-based Dr Robert Huish would deliver the keynote address, the McKinlay Oration, live via video link, beamed to a big screen at the Otago Business School foyer.

During the free 5.30pm public talk, on Wednesday, Dr Huish would discuss his research on cultural stigma and Covid-19.

Prof Tony Binns, of Dunedin, is an invited speaker who will discuss aspects of food security and development in Sierra Leone, West Africa.


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