Global Health Travel Blog

UNC Gillings students share their global field experiences around the world.

Category: Switzerland

A seat at the table

Since starting my practicum at the Migration Health Division (MHD) at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in May, I have worked on and/or am currently working on the following major deliverables:

  • Partnered with the MHD Logistics Team to plan and implement a three-day global health training where current migration health needs and strategic priorities for MHD were discussed amongst IOM leaders across the globe
  • Data entry and cleaning of IOM’s Health in Emergencies training program evaluations
  • Drafted content for the following reports:
    • UN Report of the Secretary-General on what IOM can offer through the development cooperation with middle income countries
      MHD Annual Report 2018
    • United Nations (UN) Interagency Task Force on Noncommunicable Diseases (NCDs) Report on IOM’s response to the challenge’s migrants and mobile populations experience when dealing with NCDs
    • Policy brief on international health workforce mobility
  • Assisted in the preparation of presentations on emergency response for new IOM employees serving in country offices
  • Community-based participatory research (CBPR) toolkit for IOM country offices to use when engaging with communities to tackle health challenges

(L-R) UN agency interns, Farhaa, Mikayla, and I taking a selfie right before catching a bus to meetings with colleagues from the World Health Organization.

In all, being an intern at a UN agency this summer in Geneva, Switzerland, has been such a rewarding experience. I have had a seat at tables I would have never imagined myself to be offered an invitation; for example, I got a seat at the 72nd World Health Assembly – the world’s highest health policy sitting body – where I got to meet Ministers of Health from around the world discuss and come together on new global health policies they want to set. In addition, this month I am preparing myself for a meeting I will have with diplomats from the US Mission to International Organizations in Geneva to learn more about their daily role of advancing U.S policy and job opportunities. Thankfully, my internship is still not over. This means I still have about 4 more weeks in Geneva to continue to take advantage of every opportunity that I can grab as I strive to enhance my global health portfolio.

– Fatima

Geneva, Switzerland!

Pont du Mont Blanc, Bridge Crossing Lake Geneva.

Greetings from Geneva, Switzerland! This summer my practicum is with the headquarters of the Migration Health Division (MHD) at the International Organization for Migration (IOM). It has been an eye-opening experience as I get the phenomenal opportunity to learn and contribute daily to the formulation of institutional policy, guidelines and strategy, quality-control, and oversight of migration health services globally. The health services conducted aim to meet the needs of States in managing health-related aspects of migration, and to promote evidence-based policies and integration of preventive and curative health programs that are beneficial, accessible and equitable for vulnerable migrants and mobile populations.

IOM Headquarters

Since my first week being here, which was last week, I have had the opportunity to assist with planning and implementing a three-day intensive Global Health Training for internal and external partners of the division. The training was conducted to inform and build a better understanding about ongoing policy developments and start thinking of strategic priorities the MHD would like to focus on in the years to come to address migrant health. In addition to assisting with the training, I am in the process of working on a policy brief on international health worker migration with my preceptor. This policy brief is a joint effort between IOM and the World Health Organization, and I have the honor of working on the first draft. In all, I am super excited about what is still yet to come while interning with IOM through the end of July.

If you are interested in learning more about the leading inter-governmental organization of migration, check out the short yet concise video below.

-Fatima Guerrab