Brazil, the Eastern Caribbean and Uganda joined Ghana this year at the 5th Yale GHLI Conference. More than 25 delegates came to Yale’s campus for a week to share experiences and create strategies for priority health issues in their countries.
The Eastern Caribbean and Uganda will focus on non-communicable diseases (NCDs), like diabetes, that are rapidly adding to the mortality rates of those regions. In Uganda, patients with chronic NCDs do not receive proper care in the government health sector. During the Conference, Ugandan delegates will seek to find ways to build capacity in clinical care, health worker training and research to help provide effective and integrated care for patients with NCDs. Similarly the Eastern Caribbean delegation will look to the collection and integration of data and evidence into planning for strengthened primary health care to address NCDs.
Brazil comes to Yale with a focus on early childhood development. The delegates would like to leave this week with a strategy to implement for self-sustaining and replicable programs to provide quality early childhood care and education services to improve health and reduce violence.
Ghana returns with a continued focus on mental health issues, but noted many improvements in this area since they attended the GHLI Conference in 2011. Dr. Angela Ofori-Atta noted several changes in Ghana’s mental health system based on the partnership developed between Yale, the South Essex Partnership Trust in the UK and the delegation, including passage of landmark mental health legislation and the creation of five year mental health plan. They still face delays in implementing the new law and inadequate human resources and funding, but hope to come away with a plan to address these hurdles when they return to Ghana.
In one of his final appearances as President of Yale, Richard Levin addressed the crowd to thank them for partnering with Yale in taking on such important global health problems. “Together we can make a difference in the health of all individuals across countries,” said Levin.