COSIMENA Health Cluster Conference
COSIMENA Health Cluster Conference 2017

COSIMENA Health Cluster Conference in Cairo - Two days dedicated to health in the MENA region

On the evening of Sunday, 9th July 2017, and on Monday, 10th July 2017, the DAAD Office Cairo hosted its first Health Cluster Conference within the framework of its project Clusters of Scientific Innovation in the Middle East and North Africa (COSIMENA).

Scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, practitioners and policy makers from Tunisia, Sudan, Egypt and Germany came together on these two days to discuss existing and possible future cooperation within the region and with Germany.

Monday night’s event was opened by Dr. Roman Luckscheiter, Director of the DAAD Office Cairo, and H. E. Sönke Siemon, Chargé d’affairs a.i. of the German Embassy in Egypt, in attendance of 60 guests representing university as well as non-university partners. In their welcome addresses, they highlighted the importance of scientific collaboration within the MENA region and between the region and Germany with regards to the health sector and called for more multidisciplinary approaches to health. In the panel debate that followed, Dr John Jabbour, country representative of the World Health Organisation to Egypt, Dr Olaf Horstick from the Institute of Public Health at the University of Heidelberg, Prof Haydar El Hadi Babikir, representing the University of Gezira, Dr Chajia Schloemann-Abid, of Sfax University in Tunisia, and Dr Karim Fawya, from Cairo University, engaged in a constructive discussion on health challenges as well as successes and problems with the implementation of health-related policies, moderated by Journalist Ashraf Amin of Al Ahram Newspaper.

After the prior evening had been rounded off with a dinner that provided first opportunities for elaborate discussions between guests, 30 participants used the conference day for intricate exchange on success stories and challenges of cooperation. Various presentations and a hands-on workshop provided for fruitful and constructive discussions on the achievements of and needs for building partnerships. Participants especially appreciated the workshop led by Dr Olaf Horstick, as it gave them the opportunity to share examples of successful and problematic partnerships in order to analyse success factors.

The Health Cluster Conference succeeded in creating the space for its participants to engage in constructive and fruitful discussions on cooperation in the health sector. Following a bottom-up approach, the university and non-university representatives that constitute the most integral parts to existing and potential partnerships came together to share their ideas and to engage in networking activities. As those partners benefitting from the efforts of the DAAD, they identified the institution’s role as that of a facilitator of exchange within the MENA region and with Germany. Importantly, participants remarked on the crucial role COSIMENA occupies in serving as platform that brings together key actors and partners in the field of health and that provides space to seek out potential opportunities for scientific collaboration.


Decision Making in Public Health – A course delivered in Khartoum by the Institute of Public Health, Heidelberg

The COSIMENA Health Cluster in collaboration with the Institute of Public Health, University of Heidelberg and the Public Health Institute of the Sudan organised a Public Health Course focusing on “Decision Making in Public Health” from 13th to 17th July in Khartoum.

The one week’s course was held by Dr Olaf Horstick and Dr Pauline Grys from the Institute of Public Health at the premises of the Public Health Institute of Sudan and brought together 25 experienced experts in public health with multiple scientific and professional backgrounds, with many leading experts of the Federal Ministry of Health During the course, the participants were provided with the necessary tools to develop and successfully implement evidence-informed concepts and decisions in public health.
The concepts of decision making in public health practice were introduced and elaborated on the selection as well as implementation of appropriate public health interventions. Divided into small groups, focusing on malaria, patient satisfaction and baby-friendly hospitals, the participants developed their own practical approaches throughout the whole course and presented their interesting and innovative results at the last day of the course. The high number of applicants and the consistently positive feedback of the participants showed the huge interest and demand for such training courses in the field of public health in Sudan.