Médicins sans Frontières veteran, UW Zika panel headline 2016 Global Health Symposium

GHIThe University of Wisconsin-Madison Global Health Institute (GHI) welcomes Dr. Mohammed Dalwai, a Médicins sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) veteran, South African emergency physician and tech innovator, as the keynote speaker for the 2016 Global Health Symposium—Global Crises: Today’s Response, Tomorrow’s Hope.

The 12th annual symposium convenes at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 30, in the Health Sciences Learning Center. The event annually attracts about 300 participants. It is hosted by GHI with support from the UW-Madison International Division and Lectures Committee, and is free and open to the public. Registration is requested.

Almost 40 live and poster presentations about UW-Madison global health projects will show the breadth of campus global health activity. From clinical medicine to basic science, education to nutrition, and more, students, faculty and staff are working with colleagues in Wisconsin and around the world to improve life for all.

This year, James Conway, GHI associate director for health sciences and professor of pediatrics, will also moderate a Zika Virus Panel that will highlight how researchers across campus are contributing to understanding and stopping the virus. The mosquito-borne virus has spread rapidly in Central and South America and may be connected to birth defects and neurological disorders.

“The Global Health Symposium is an opportunity for campus and the community to experience UW’s response to the complex and interlinked determinants of health and disease,” Patz says. “I am especially excited about our Zika panelists, who are on the front lines of innovative and immediate responses that will benefit human and animal health.

Dalwai, co-founder of The Open Medicine Project South Africa, worked with Mèdicins sans Frontiéres (MSF) in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, Haiti and Sierra Leone. He is also president of MSF South Africa. He is collaborating with Janis Tupesis, a faculty member in the UW Emergency Medicine Department and GHI-Graduate Medical Education liaison to create a mobile app for emergency medicine.

In his MSF work, Dalwai saw patients die because they were not triaged correctly. The Open Medicine Project created a free mobile triage app that earned him recognition as a 2014 TED Fellow and one of the 2014 GOOD 100, a recognition from GOOD magazine. Implementing the mobile app in Western Cape led to an 88 percent improvement in triage completion.

Dalwai and Tupesis will also talk about building mobile apps for health in a Global Health Seminar presentation: “War, Tech and Health: How working under fire inspired an app to improve care” at 5 p.m. Thursday, March 31.

Global Health Symposium schedule:

4:30 p.m. Registration/check in and poster viewing
5:00 p.m. Welcome and announcements
5:15 p.m. Keynote address
6:20 p.m. Concurrent oral presentations
7:00 p.m. Zika Virus Panel
8:00 p.m. Poster session and reception