Posted on 4 February 2019
On, Wednesday 30 January 2019, the 116th Global Health Histories seminar was held at Aarhus University. The recording of this event is now freely available to all to access via the Centre for Global Health Histories’ YouTube channel.
Commonwealth –Rutherford Fellow Dr Namrata R. Ganneri travelled to Aarhus to represent the Centre for Global Health Histories at this event, and has provided the following report on the proceedings.
This event turned the focus to Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR), a global health threat affecting all nations. Some see new antibiotics as the solution to the problem, but there needs to be a shift towards better understanding how resistance develops, evolves and transmits between bacterial species and amongst humans. The seminar’s panellists Dr Janis K. Lazdins Helds (formerly TDR/WHO, Coordinator Product Development and Evaluation for drugs, diagnostics and vaccines for neglected tropical diseases) and Professor Jens Seeberg (Dept. of Anthropology, Aarhus University) explored these issues along with an enthusiastic and diverse audience from the nursing community to medical school graduates, and academics in natural sciences and social sciences.
Dr Niels Brimnes (event chair) and speakers Prof. Jens Seeberg and Dr Janis Lazdins Helds (photo credit: N. Ganneri)
The importance of the topic and the diversity of perspectives gathered in the room led to wide-ranging discussion. Following Jens Seeberg’s characterization of AMR as a ‘bio-social product’, a provocative question was raised about the possible shape of ‘bio-social’ medicine, and thence followed a lively discussion, with natural scientists in the audience emphasising that studies about drugs and medicines precluded a study of social conditions in which the drug would be administered. Important discussions followed on the differential emphasis on ‘microbiology’ as well as study of infectious diseases in the medical school and nursing training curriculum.
The GHH series aims to create cross-disciplinary dialogues between academics, scientists and public health professionals on topical issues in global health. The first GHH event to be held at Aarhus University, seminar 116 introduced a new audience to the GHH project and was characterised by a general curiosity about the format and purpose of the series.
Many thanks to all who were involved in making this event a splendid success.