Margaux Meslé attends Global Health Security Conference in Sydney


Mesle Global Health Security June 2019

Last month I attended the first ever Global Health Security (@GHS2019 on Twitter) conference in Sydney, and it was worth the circa 36 hours of travel from Amsterdam via London and Singapore. The conference was officially opened by an aboriginal welcome to the city and a few words from the Australian minister for Health as well as the director general of the WHO via video message.

Across all three days, panels and workshops were made up of senior public health officials, including from WHO, the US CDC and other organizations. Industry, academic, public and private sectors were represented by participants from all over the world, asking interesting and thought-provoking questions. All topics were covered in some form or other, from the international health regulations to anti-vaccination movements and the role of travel.

I personally presented a poster that was a chapter of my PhD thesis completed last year, that received great attention and feedback. Many delegates were very queen to read the publication (work in progress) and are interested in using airline travel data in their work, recognizing the importance of this mode of transport to their country health. Not only have I learned a lot and met many new friendly people, there is a real chance that these contacts will lead to future collaborations with either myself, my supervisors or potentially members of future HPRUs and the institute.

A highlight was the closing panel discussing future approaches for global health, including the quote “Misinformation is the biggest threat to public health we face and we’re not ready for that”. This affects all countries experiencing epidemics and local populations need to be integrated in the health response before an outbreak occurs.

The organizers are considering running another conference in a few years, which I would very highly recommend anyone working on public or global health to attend




Posted on: 19/07/2019