Like every organisation the global pandemic has had a significant impact on the Global Public Health Network. Much of our planned activity and work has been delayed, postponed or been delivered in a fundamentally different way.
The 10th City Health International (CHI) conference went ahead on-line and we are very grateful to the presenters and audience for their input. It provided a great insight into the value of harm reduction and the importance of working with, not against, people. The success of the technical aspects of CHI led to us providing support to several institutions to help deliver their on-line events. This has helped grow our network as well as provide vital income. We have also been fortunate in the support you, those who comprise our network, have provided. Your input is greatly valued.
We are committed to building the GPHN network and to help provide more resources and connections to support work to improve the health of communities around the world. This month we had planned a virtual seminar looking at the range of responses to homeless communities during the pandemic. There are clearly many lessons to be learnt and experiences to be shared. However, t the recent surge in COVID cases and the fact that many of our presenters and audience are front line responders we had to take the decision to postpone. We will reschedule for the Spring.
There has also been consideration of what shape and form the 11th City Health International (CHI) conference should take. As vaccination programmes roll out there is potential for an actual event, but we also recognise the likelihood of some ongoing travel restrictions and funding challenges for many organisations. The decision has been made to put back the date for the CHI conference until November. We are in dialogue with a number of partners to run a collaborative, hybrid, event, which we hope will permit some to meet physically while also engaging with those unable to travel to Warsaw. Certainly, there is no shortage of topics or learning to share relating to the last year and the very clear challenges ahead of us. The importance of more effective collaboration, maximisation of available resources and improved public engagement are all evident. We will be in touch soon regarding themes and abstracts for the conference.
Over the year ahead we will also be updating and improving the website, which is a cue to please let us know what would help you, and to send us recommendations for resources to promote. We are also always happy to consider a guest blog or article. We at GPHN look forward to continuing to work with you during 2021. Stay safe and keep connected.