Category — Other

Power and Privilege in the Production of Knowledge

Dr. Shafik Dharamsi reflects on “Gathering Perspectives”, a symposium hosted by the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research and held at the Liu Institute for Global Issues in May 2013.

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May 23, 2013   No Comments

Early Childhood Development Program improves lives of kids in developing nations

Dr. Shafik Dharamsi chats with the Vancouver Sun Blog Network/Community about the work he did as former Regional Program Director of the Aga Khan Foundation’s Madrasa Early Childhood Development Program in East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda) and how it helps improve the lives of kids in these developing countries.

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May 23, 2013   No Comments

Dr. Shafik Dharamsi delivers closing address at the 2013 Canadian High Schools Model United Nations Conference (CAHSMUN)

On April 7, Dr. Dharamsi delivered the closing keynote address at the 2013 CAHSMUN Conference, the largest high school conference of its kind in Western Canada. He reminded students that in his presentation at last year’s conference he challenged the taken-for-granted view that education serves primarily as a vehicle for monetary success and social status.

Click here for the full article.

April 19, 2013   No Comments

University Global Health Impact Report Card

The Universities Allied for Essential Medicines, an organization of medical and public-health students interested in promoting academic attention to global-health needs, has released the University Global Health Impact Report Card. Of the 54 American and Canadian research universities evaluated, only the University of British Columbia has received an “A” for contributions to “urgent global health” research and treatment.

For further details, visit the Chronicle of Higher Education.

April 10, 2013   No Comments

Rebecca Onie: What if our healthcare system kept us healthy?

July 9, 2012   No Comments

Schools can help combat HIV/Aids

Dr. Dharamsi, Faculty Lead for the LIU Global Health Network recently participated in and helped to organized an international colloquium on establishing and evaluating health promoting schools with reference to WHO Guidelines, held at The Wallenberg Research Centre, Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Studies, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, November 9-11, 2011.

Schools have a responsibility to improve the knowledge and change the attitudes and behaviour of learners regarding HIV/Aids, said Dr Jyothi Chabilall of the Faculty of Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU) on Wednesday (9 November).

Drs Jyothi Chabilall (right) and Therese Fish, Deputy dean: Community Service and Interaction, at the colloquium. (Photo: Alec Basson)

She was one of the speakers at a three-day international colloquium held at the Wallenberg Research Centre at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advance Study (STIAS).

The colloquium was organised by STIAS and the Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies (PWIAS) at the University of British Columbia (UBC),Vancouver,Canada.

Themed “Many Voices One Song.” Health-Promoting Schools: Evidence, Strategies, Challenges and Prospects, the colloquium offers opinion leaders and educators the opportunity to evaluate school-based health promotion programs and to discuss the implementation of this health model with reference to the World Health Organisation guidelines.

Chabilall said adolescents are the most vulnerable to HIV but also the most likely to change their behaviour if guided correctly.

“It is important that teachers help develop healthy attitudes and behaviour among adolescents. School laws, customs and policies need to ensure that there is a focus on information regarding HIV/Aids.”

There is a need for a safe school culture that is conducive to learning, Chabilall said.

“Teachers much be trained adequately to transmit the necessary information about HIV/Aids confidently and accurately.”

According to Chabilall, this will ensure that learners receive reliable and beneficial information.

“Schools can sometimes be guilty of creating the scope for myths and misconceptions among adolescents concerning HIV/Aids. One misconception is that the youth is safe, and therefore HIV/Aids should not be taken seriously.”

Chabilall pointed out that in some areas the school culture did not ensure the well-being of learners. Many schools are dysfunctional and unsafe, she added.

The youth must be resolute to change their behaviour, and communities must be involved in promoting the health of adolescents, Chabilall said.

Dr Shafik Dharamsi speaking at the colloquium (Photo: Alec Basson)

Dr Shafik Dharamsi of UBC is of the view that health-promoting schools can create an environment that will enable young people to respond to needs of their communities.

According to him, educators should prepare future health-care professionals to serve their communities.

“How we educate them will determine their sense of social responsiveness and social responsibility,” Dharamsi said.

Professor Russel Botman, SU Rector and Vice-Chancellor, welcomed the delegates and said the promotion of health in schools should be linked with wellness which includes not only physical aspects, but also social, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual and financial wellness.

Health promotion in schools is a way of building hope in situations where despair is threatening to overwhelm people, he added.

The three-day colloquium ended on Friday (11 November).

November 16, 2011   No Comments

Reducing stigma and improving access to mental health care for youth

Disha Mehta, BSc, Kristy Williams, BSc, Alex Butskiy, BSc, Taylor Swanson, BSc, Maryam Dosani, BSc

BC youth have been estimated to have a relatively high—15%—prevalence of mental health disorders.[1] Even more alarmingly, disease onset occurred before 18 years of age in 70% of Canadian adults living with mental illness.[2] Youth are among the most susceptible groups for mental health problems, yet are poorly equipped to recognize disorders and most likely to seek help from each other.[3]

The authors formed the Healthy Young Minds Project in October 2009. The project’s mission is to “establish a sustainable framework for engaging youth in the discussion of mental health with the aims of reducing stigma and facilitating access to mental health care” through the creation and delivery of workshops in Vancouver high schools.

The project ran focus groups with teens at a Vancouver high school to find out what youth know about mental health and illness. “We don’t know how they feel,” was one of many frustrated answers to the question, “What is mental health and what does it mean to have a mental illness?”

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September 14, 2011   No Comments

Resolution adopted at the 2010 International Conference on Human Rights Education (Sydney)

The 360 participants attending the 2010 International Conference on Human Rights Education, who came from 27 countries, and comprised human rights experts from diverse professions and academic disciplines:

Recognise that human rights education is essential to the full realisation of human rights and fundamental freedoms and contributes significantly to promoting equality, respect for human dignity, preventing discrimination and enhancing participation in democratic processes,

Recall the United Nations commitment to Human Rights Education as articulated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, various treaties and the current World Programme for Human Rights Education (2005 – ongoing),

Endorse the Australian Government’s commitment to Human Rights Education as the core objective of the National Human Rights Framework (April 2010),

Call on Australian Governments (Federal, State and Territory) to:

  1. Include human rights education in the new National Action Plan on Human Rights being developed under Australia’s Human Rights Framework;
  2. Ensure that education in human rights and indigenous issues is embedded in the new national curriculum for schools;
  3. Adequately resource, and allocate responsibility for the implementation of human rights education, particularly for teachers and educators, civil servants, law enforcement officials, judicial officers, health practioners and military personnel;
  4. Foster opportunities for learning and sharing information about human rights from indigenous peoples’ knowledge frameworks;
  5. Take up a human rights based approach to Australia’s overseas development assistance, including by prioritizing the integration of human rights education into its programs, particularly in conflict and post-conflict situations like Afghanistan;
  6. Recognise that human rights education and human rights legislation are complementary and mutually reinforcing and to consider the enactment of comprehensive federal, state and territory human rights laws, including a national Human Rights Act.

Call on the United Nations High Commissioner on Human Rights

To submit the report of this Conference to the open-ended intergovernmental working group, responsible for drafting the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Education and Training by March 2011.

Call on the Commonwealth Secretary-General

To give priority to preparing a Commonwealth Action Plan for Human Rights Education and Training, for consideration at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Perth, Western Australia in October 2011.

Remain committed to working with Governments and international organizations, at global regional and national levels, to promote and protect universal human rights, notably by developing and implementing Action Plans for Human Rights Education and Training.

November 23, 2010   No Comments