Gabriella Hök, Swedish Networks for Global Health Manager
You have worked on establishing a common platform for the Swedish Networks for Global Health. What role do the networks play for Sweden’s work and implementation of the 2030 Agenda?
– The Swedish Networks for Global Health reinforces Sweden’s work with the 2030 Agenda. The Government Offices launched a framework for global health and the 2030 Agenda already in 2018. This started out with roundtable discussions within groups for sexual reproductive health and rights (SRHR), midwifery, child health, mental health and psychosocial support, non-communicable diseases, communicable diseases, antimicrobial resistance and health crises. Most of these developed into networks. They have grown organically, so while one has dissolved new are added according to needs, the latest addition being Women in Global Health.
A better understanding of how different actors can be connected and in what way we can strengthen the overall work with global health and the 2030 Agenda is essential. The continuous follow-up of the Agenda helps to highlight necessary collaborations, as well as contributes to a common language for challenges that cannot be solved in a given sector but where cooperation is necessary.
– The added value of these networks lies in the multisectoral and interdisciplinary work. To date, there is ample involvement from academy, civil society, government offices and authorities, while business actors are still lacking in most networks. Also, synergies between networks are of particular importance, for example when we wish to address children’s mental health, antimicrobial resistance and communicable diseases. Obviously, there is plenty to be done to tackle the impact of climate change on health.
In practice, the Swedish Networks for Global Health are working with several of the SDGs simultaneously, nationally as well as globally, showing that global health goes beyond the goal of good health and well-being.
What has been your greatest Eureka-moments while working with the networks?
– There have been so many positive experiences. Collaborating with groups of committed and knowledgeable people gives plenty of energy. There is much to learn since we work with issues that span so many sectors. The Swedish Networks for Global Health is a long-term investment with a lot of potential.
How will the outside world notice that the networks for global health are coordinated by SIGHT?
– SIGHT works to ensure that global health work covers many different sectors and is based on interdisciplinary research and data. As we bring together the knowledge base of SIGHT’s university and student networks with our international networks, SIGHT is well placed to enable, mobilise and become a catalyst for knowledge and resources. I think that we have opened a new window of cooperation and exchange of knowledge which can bring new viewpoints and opportunities to Sweden and the world.