UBC recently welcomed nearly 250 in-person and virtual delegates from over 50 countries at the 2022 Towards Unity for Health (TUFH) conference held at the Vancouver campus in August 2022. TUFH is an international, intersectoral, and intergenerational global health conference that brings together health partners, universities, community institutions, and thought leaders from around the world. Hosted by The Network: Towards Unity for Health, Rural Coordination Centre of BC, and BC Patient Safety and Quality Council, TUFH 2022 focused on fostering equitable community-oriented health services, education, and research, with the goal of improving health locally and globally.
With a commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, UBC Health supported efforts to ensure equitable participation in the conference and sponsored six students from lower income countries to attend the conference.
Priyanka Chahal was one of those individuals. She is a medical student studying in the Kyrgyz Republic. She has a keen interest in health policy and advocacy and a passion for community development and empowering young people. Priyanka delivered a presentation at the conference about the impact of telemedicine on healthcare delivery among Indigenous people during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Approximately 370–500 million Indigenous people live worldwide, and due to their isolation, lack of financial resources, and cultural differences, Indigenous groups frequently face obstacles to obtaining healthcare,” Chahal says. “Telemedicine has shown potentials in salvaging the dwindling healthcare system in low and middle-income countries. It is a practical and cost-effective treatment delivery method that has successfully addressed access barriers faced by vulnerable populations around the world.”
Chahal says the conference was a valuable experience for her. “I learnt a lot from like-minded people, met many students like me, and discussed and listened to their ideas and shared knowledge on different topics. I will share my experience with all of the students at my university, so they can get inspired, and I am going to open a scientific society where I will encourage students to be in research field and to think beyond the box.”
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Through Strategy 15: Student Experience, UBC is expanding holistic, developmental and professional student advising and engagement to support students in determining and realizing academic, career and personal goals.