Norwegian Forums 10th Anniversary Seminar

At the Norwegian Forum for Global Health Research Forum’s 10 Anniversary Seminar 12-13 January 2017 the conclusion was that it takes time to build relations and networks – and that after 10 years, Forum’s Global Health Research activities are becoming firmly established.

Highlights of Forum activity:

  • conferences involving Forum researchers are now held annually (every second year with GLOBVAC)
  • a national Researcher School in Global Health has been established
  • the Forum suggestion of formally establishing an infrastructure for its activity has resulted in the establishment of a Norwegian Institute of Global Health (NIGH).

Forum has prepared a 10-year report of its activities: Please see here.

The Researcher School in Global Health will facilitate between PhD candidates in Global Health across Norway by making it easier for them to visit one another and cooperate on projects. All PhD candidates enrolled in Global Health at a Norwegian institution of higher education are welcome to become members. Membership will enable them to be eligible for travel grants to attend courses in global health subjects taught at institutions across Norway. The School’s first annual PhD conference will be held in conjunction with the GLOBVAC conference next spring, 14-15 March, 2017 in Oslo.

Links relating to NIGH

Research Seminar on Migration and Health

The theme for the 10th Anniversary’s Research Seminar was Migration and Health. Many of the speakers highlighted that not only is migrant health becoming increasingly relevant for Norway and other European countries, migrant health is part of global health.

The talks reflected various complementary perspectives:

  • The scope of Migration health in Norway, by Bernadette Kumar, NAKMI and Centre for Global Health UiO
  • Migration and health, historical perspective by Harald Siem, Norwegian Institute of Public Health and NAKMI
  • Rights to access National Health Services for refugees and asylum seekers- Government guidelines, by Gro Saltnes Lopez, Department for Minority Health and Rehabilitation, Health Directorate
  • Migrants health perspective from general practice in Norway, by Esperanza Diaz, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, UiB
  • Irregular migrant’s ‘precarious inclusion’ in European health care regimes, by Christine M. Jacobsen, The Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK), UiB


At the Anniversary Dinner, Bente Moen, Forum Chair, gave out a number of prizes:

  • Recognising service to Forum and Global Health: Rune Nilsen, Gunnar Kvale
  • Winners of Essay Contest about a Global Health Issue:

“Seks helsetiltak for flyktningene” by Esperanza Diaz is awarded 10 000 NOK for best essay across categories. The essay fulfils the criteria in the announcement and is placed in the category for «Refugees – migration”. It conveys the message of shortcomings and need for improvement in the Norwegian health system and points to important issues that actually could be easily solved by reducing bureaucracy and simplify administrative routines. The essay is nicely structured and easily accessible.

«Ta de nye hjelpeorganisasjonen på alvor» by Haavik & Kitching, is awarded 5000 NOK in the category «Refugees – migration”. The motivation was that the essay is based on facts through research and shows how small organizations and common people with small resources can make a big difference. The essay is nicely written and to the point, using plane language bringing the message to the lay reader in an accessible form.

“Snåsamenn – hjemme og ute”, by SH Braathen and M Eriksen is awarded 5000 NOK. It fills the criteria for “Innovation in global health”, because it addresses the under-covered and stigmatized topic of mental health. The article discusses the potentially beneficial role of traditional healers in the field of mental health, whether in Norway or in Africa, and the shortcomings of Western psychiatry if applied uncritically and “out of context”. Traditional healers’ success in promoting mental well-being is related to a human search for respect, dignity and belonging, and the authors suggest that their role should be considered in the development of community-based mental health services in Africa.

By Elinor Bartle