FRESH AIR, represented by our former project assistant and researcher Charlotte Poot, was also present.
On the one hand, the aim of the conference is to share experiences, exchange research and discuss implementation strategies; on the other, it sets out to connect research and policy, and strengthen health systems on a national and international level. These are the overall challenges that the GACD has chosen to tackle.
Throughout the week -long meeting, a number of different interesting research topics passed the review. These ranged from assessing a smoking intervention among Aboriginals, to treating hypertension in rural South Africa via text messaging. In the midst of numerous other GACD-funded implementation science projects, FRESH AIR stood out with its strong focus on delivering and studying interventions in its real-life context.
Bringing interventions, programmes, and policies to scale with the aim to make a difference remains the ultimate challenge in global health research. The annual scientific meeting provides the perfect opportunity to discuss how interventions can be made scalable in a sustainable and equitable way.
By learning from each other's successes and failures, and by talking with those that are responsible for scale-up and policymaking, new strategies are thought of that correspond with the needs and agendas of those in charge. Attendees of the conference were also treated with a workshop on media communication, and were challenged to pitch their research project and its implications to a three-person jury during a Dragon’s Den-style competition. The contestants were not only judged on relevance, but also on the clarity of their message and their answer to the question, ͞what’s in it for me?
Overall, it was especially inspiring to see an entire group of not only researchers and scientists, but also policymakers and funding agencies, all there with one purpose: to learn from each other, in order to fight for the healthcare of those who need it the most.