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UCL Global Citizenship Programme

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Outbreak! Infectious Diseases

Understand how rapidly a local disease can become a global threat. Explore how individuals and organisations can combat it together.

Disease knows no borders and is only rarely denied entry. Epidemics become pandemics when our efforts to stop them are underfunded, disunited and impaired by political strife.

If you have a keen interest in global health and understanding the processes underpinning policy-making, then this strand is for you!

You’ll have the opportunity to engage with multidisciplinary experts to examine outbreaks and gain an increased understanding of the complexities underlying global pandemics. You’ll then put this to practical use, as you work together to address a hypothetical new disease outbreak.

The skills you'll develop

  • Research and collaboration
  • Diplomacy and debate
  • Policy and resolution writing
  • Film-making and editing

What you'll do as part of this strand

Engage with the experts

You’ll have the opportunity to hear from and work with experts from across a range of fields, both inside and outside of UCL, including anthropologists, political scientists, medics and pharmacists. 

The talks and presentations delivered by experts in the field were my favourite part of Outbreak!


Role play and collaborate

You’ll work with fellow students to simulate the annual World Health Assembly which takes place in Geneva.

Roleplaying as either a World Health Organisation (WHO) member state, NGO, United Nations (UN) agency, industry or media representative, you will:

  • research your stakeholder position;
  • gain an understanding of their role;
  • represent their interests; and, 
  • draft policy resolutions to address the imminent threat of a new disease outbreak.

Raise infectious disease awareness

You’ll create a short film to promote infectious disease awareness.

You’ll showcase this film at a final day Summit, where you’ll work with other student stakeholder groups to develop global partnerships and solutions.

Strand Leaders

Oksana Pyzik – Strand Leader

Oksana Pyzik is a Senior Teaching Fellow and Global Engagement Lead at the UCL School of Pharmacy.

Oksana is a Canadian citizen and a UK registered pharmacist with experience across primary care, academia and in public health programme development. She is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy and her teaching and research interests lie in pharmaceutical care and global health. She has presented widely at national and international meetings and is a recognised leader across the pharmacy profession and healthcare sector.

In 2017, Oksana was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Commonwealth Pharmacists’ Association and was also, nominated as the Global Engagement Liaison for the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) - UCL - FIPEd Collaborating Centre.

Oksana works closely with NGOs and the World Health Organisation as a global health adviser around issues such as substandard and falsified medicines, and in 2015 founded the UCL Fight the Fakes Campaign to raise awareness around the growing global health threat of substandard and falsified medicines.

Brian Wong – Programme Manager

Brian hails from Canada and is a PhD candidate in Cardiovascular Science at UCL as well as a clinical researcher with the Medical Research Council Unit for Lifelong Health and Ageing. Brian is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Public Health and has a background in global health, epidemiology, biomedical science and music.

Brian founded LonWHO, the UK’s first Model WHO simulation, at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and has been part of the IFMSA delegation to the World Health Assembly, where he delivered IFMSA’s statement on Maternal, Infant and Young Child Nutrition. His present research interests are in non-communicable diseases (NCDs), specifically in cardiovascular mechanisms related to neurocognitive decline across the life course.

What to do next

Complete the form to register for Outbreak! Global Health.