Professor Alder Keynotes International Relations Summit

Professor Stephen C. Alder was a special guest keynote speaker at the International Relations, Diplomacy, and Human Rights Virtual Summit 2023 on Tuesday, July 25, 2023. The summit was hosted by the International Human Rights Commission African office (IHRC AFRICA) in Accra, Ghana, with the theme of “Assessment of Unjust Wars and Global Instability on Human Rights.”

Professor Alder’s talk was titled Health as a Human Right. Alder’s talk noted the United Nations Sustainability Goal number three promotes health and well-being for all at all ages. During his address to the summit, Alder said, “[Health] It is not something we do just because it is a human right. It is key to development. Health is a value that we share. A healthy population is a productive population and contributes to development.”

Professor Alder also referenced a 2020 study by McKinsey and Company that improved health increases productivity and can impact the GDP and economic development of a country. Alder also addressed how the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted some health progress that had been made, but how we had learned valuable lessons from the pandemic that could help improve health practices in the future.

Alder concluded his talk by saying that health can be a reality for all. He noted programs like the Integrated Community Case Management can provide treatment for communities disconnected from health services and the health system. Alder also noted his own experience with the Health 2 Go program in Ghana which has implemented a strategy to eliminate the gap between communities and the health system through trained and supervised community healthcare workers known as community-based agents. The social franchise model that is part of the Health 2 Go could assist countries with lessening the gap between communities and their healthcare system.

Professor Alder is a Health Ecologist whose work focuses on global health and development. He brings expertise in public health, community engagement, and health administration. In addition to his roles at the University of Utah, tenured professor and Executive Director of the Center for Business, Health, and Prosperity, he serves as President of Ensign Global College in Ghana and Principal Investigator for Health 2 Go. He has provided strategic consultation for health systems development in China, Ghana, India, Iraq, Peru, Sierra Leone, and the United States.

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