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31 March 2008
Leading academics from across the world have come together for a unique global health event.
The inaugural Cardiff for Africa conference, designed to focus on knowledge-transfer opportunities whilst suggesting ways in which universities in Britain can contribute their knowledge to the benefit of African society, has drawn together world-leading experts from across the UK and Africa to discuss new ideas and to plan for future work which has global health implications.
Opened by Vice-Chancellor Dr David Grant, the global health event marks a highlight in the University’s 125th anniversary year. Dr Grant said that the conference provided a platform to demonstrate how the work of Cardiff University and its partners in Africa is making a contribution to the UN Millennium Development Goals, as well as being key to developing a road map for the future.
Key note speaker Professor Eldryd Parry OBE, Founder and Trustee of Tropical Health & Education Trust, and Honorary Fellow of the University, spoke about the importance of engagement with healthcare in Africa, and laid out how the well-defined links already established by Cardiff University and health professionals in Wales are proving to be an outstanding asset for colleagues overseas.
Also speaking, Professor Sir Les Borysiewicz, Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council and Honorary Fellow of Cardiff University said: "There are many challenges that have to be faced by developing countries, especially in delivering healthcare at a basic level. Infectious diseases, such as malaria, TB and HIV remain huge global challenges. However, while trying to tackle these problems the resource-poor countries are facing the ever-increasing burden of the diseases afflicting the UK and other Western countries. Cancer, heart disease, diabetes and so on. Therefore it is important that as we plan support for the future we help the development of health services to tackle these growing problems and particularly prevention measures to reduce smoking and obesity."
Chaired by Professor Stephen Tomlinson, Provost of Cardiff University, other key note speakers included Dr Tony Jewell, Chief Medical Officer, and Dr Yifru Berhan, Dean of Medical Faculty, Hwassa College of Health Sciences, Ethiopia.
Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson AM who connected the event to the Welsh Assembly Government initiative, Wales for Africa, said: "Cardiff for Africa dovetails with the Assembly Government’s Wales for Africa programme. It is great to see Cardiff University playing an active role in supporting international development in sub-Saharan Africa. By sharing knowledge and bringing people together, the University is helping to support some of the world’s most economically poor people. It is a good example of the excellent efforts taking place across Wales in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals to halve global poverty by 2015."
The conference also included a number of academic experts from the Schools of Engineering, Dentistry and Medicine, and poster presentations from Cardiff School of Optometry and Vision Sciences, School of Medicine students and Dolen Cymru, the Wales-Lesotho Link.
The Cardiff for Africa conference follows the recent success of Cardiff University’s 125th Anniversary ‘Cardiff sings Classics’ concert in aid of Mothers of Africa.
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