ASEF Executive Director Amb Dominique Girard shares a light moment with participants
About 40 university undergraduates from ASEM member countries are currently in Poland to participate in the 16th ASEF University on “Public Health and Vulnerable Groups: Access to Quality Health Care Services.” The ASEF University, one of ASEF’s flagship programmes, promotes intercultural learning among university students from Asia and Europe.
Improving the health of the general population in both Asia and Europe includes responding to the health needs of the most vulnerable groups, which is among the most challenging of public health policies. Today, as the world is faced with crises on multiple fronts including food shortage, financial and economic crisis, climate change and pandemic influenza, the plight of vulnerable groups in any given population is in need of urgent attention.
The 16th ASEF University is an important opportunity for top university students from both regions to give special attention to this issue. It will promote discussion on how barriers to quality healthcare can be reduced and raising awareness on public health issues. It also aims at encouraging young people to play an active role in promoting better health while emphasising the Asian and European perspectives on key global health challenges that often require international cooperation.
Experts from a wide range of sectors and countries will share their experience, best practices and concerns with these students. The outcome of their discussions will be included as recommendations to public health officials of Asia and Europe.
The ASEF University is a two-week intensive enrichment programme that is held once a year at venues alternating between Asia and Europe. The programme offers a unique opportunity for promising undergraduates to broaden their horizon and deepen their insight into contemporary international issues and their significance for Asia and Europe in a multi-cultural setting. This edition is organised in line with overall activities of the ASEF Network for Public Health, initiated in May 2009 and funded by the Government of Japan. The Network aims to establish a working mechanism for bi-regional coordination and collaboration on public health issues with a particular attention to pandemics and infectious diseases.