As a public health specialist from the global south (Nigeria) and eager to start my much-anticipated Canadian PhD study, I never envisaged being involved with such a dynamic, trans-disciplinary health group as the BCCI. The on-site event at the Interior Health office in Kelowna, a city surrounded by hills, brought a serene environment suitable for capacity development in global health.
The theme was “Equity-Centered Practices for Connecting knowledge with Action,” one that the facilitators expounded on practical approaches that are aiding my academic and research inclines especially for health disparities seen with social related actions and its possible untoward health outcomes for certain groups. The associated networking and mentorship revealed the humble nature of this group in its quest for health equity. I was eager to be part of it, and it has been an eventful one year filled with academic and social processes.
I had been faced with certain capacity challenges necessary for global health practices; a contextual institutional restriction of my background. Following the Kelowna exposure, there has been a series of monthly activities at UVic (a part of BCCI) for me. The monthly networking of situated learning processes from ally researchers from different disciplines; the continuing nudges from mentors; the town and gown activity of January 2018 that featured engineering and medical researchers; the continuing webinar meetings and trainings on topical global health issues; the Social Sciences and Humanities Council (SSHRC) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) connection grant writings; and the Nigerian working group on the impacts of climate change on health.
All of these activities are changing my approaches to global health practices and applications of varying theoretical frameworks. The diversity of members reveals an obvious partnership that humbles one from a global south context and the dual shared benefits show a sustainable interventional health approach that can help alleviate health disparities.
Ngozi is a Public Health specialist with an MBBS from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, an MPH from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, an MSc in International Health Development and Management from the University of Birmingham, UK, and is currently a PhD student in the Social Dimensions of Health Program at the University of Victoria. Ngozi is an active member of the BCCI Community of Practice and following the event in Kelowna, she and fellow participant Paivi Abernathy reported on the BCCI in a Discussion Group on Global Health Research session with the Centre for Global Studies (CFGS).
Through this discussion you will learn how the project led to the development of 5 ‘building blocks’ needed to sustain local maternity care, hear the perspectives of North Island community representatives, the Health Authority, health professionals and other experts and key stakeholders, as well as explore the community-driven research process and its alignment with the CCGHR principles, within a global-local health context.
In this webinar, presenter Kira Barwich will guide us through the process and progress of the Building Blocks for Sustainable Rural Maternity Care, a project that began as a response to inequity of maternity services for North Vancouver Island communities and with an intent to understand community experiences of birth on North Vancouver Island. This in-depth, community-driven investigation worked to understand how to support culturally appropriate and respectful local maternity care, as articulated by mothers, elders, care providers and community members.
Kira Barwich is a Research Coordinator at University of British Columbia at the Centre for Rural Health Research. Kira has an MSc in Global Health from Trinity College, University of Dublin and has worked on global health research projects in Indonesia, Zimbabwe and Cambodia. Her current role involves looking at how to sustain maternity care in rural, low-resource communities in British Columbia.
Kira is an active member of the Student and Young Professional Network and the BCCI Community of Practice.
The Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) held a series of consultations in reference to its global health strategic planning exercise, in collaboration with the International Development Research Centre (IDRC). These were regional events and by invitation only. After each CIHR-IDRC session, one-page briefing notes were prepared for CCGHR members. CIHR agreed to receive a Coalition “external” consultation document reflecting the views of researchers across Canada.
On April 9, BC members of CCGHR attended an in-person consultation. Following this, a webinar provided an opportunity to further reflect views from across BC, specifically those of the BCCI Community of Practice and its key component, Students and Young Professionals (SYPs). All proceedings were integrated into a summary report submitted to CIHR-IDRC in May.
Building on the CCGHR-led external consultations that have taken place across the country, we examined Canadian strengths and areas for opportunity in global health research. We looked to deepen the conversation and explore avenues for concrete action through the BCCI Community of Practice. Across these themes, we also looked to consider the health impacts of climate change.