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Global Health Histories Seminar 146: Health Diplomacy: The bases for international and global health

Friday 6 March 2020, 11.00AM

Speaker(s): Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya (Professor in the History of Medicine, University of York, UK and Director, WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories), Dr Lakshmi C. Somatunga (Additional Secretary, Public Health Services, Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medical Services)

Health diplomacy links national, international and global health activities, as they are planned and implemented worldwide. It is of great importance at all levels of governance, as alliances of officials seek to mobilise disparate stakeholders needed to counter all major public health challenges and emergencies (including non-state actors). Such diplomatic exchanges and negotiations connect work advocated by the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization’s Secretariat in the Geneva-based HQ to the agency’s Regional and Country Offices, as well as complex administrative and political structures within WHO member states. These engagements are unavoidable in a situation where specific protocols need to be negotiated and adapted to diverse socio-economic and cultural determinants of health at national and sub-national levels. This seminar will examine the complexities of such interactions and also assess their centrality to successful collaborations, using examples of how major international programmes were supported, enriched and implemented by Sri Lankan government (often through equitable regional and international partnerships).

Location: Wonder Hotel, Colomba, Sri Lanka

Admission: Free for all