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IGH student attends IDF Bangkok

Barbara Citarella, one of our students, was supported by the IGH to attend the International Diplomacy Forum in Bangkok in July 2019. Here, Barbara tells us about her experiences at the forum.

Barbara Citarella at the forum
“My childhood experience growing up in Kenya exposed me to the burden and devastating effects of infectious and non-communicable diseases. This first-hand experience served as an unfaltering motivation in my pursuit of better healthcare, and informed my desire to study for the MSc in Global Health and Development at UCL.


"The UCL Institute for Global Health (IGH) attracted me as it is well established and provides an intellectually stimulating environment with an eclectic curriculum. I had an unparalleled opportunity to engage with individuals of varied expertise across different disciplines, all ardent about developing sustainable solutions to complex healthcare challenges.

"With that in mind, in 2019, I applied and was selected as a delegate to attend the International Diplomacy Forum (IDF), held at the United Nations in Bangkok, Thailand. Hosted by Humanitarian Affairs Asia, the forum gathered aspiring global leaders and professionals from over 50 different countries. The sessions were diverse with practical workshops and engaging sessions on the art of effective diplomacy and global decision-making in multilateral fora.

"We had insightful discussions on the intricacies of international affairs pertaining to strengthening global governance institutions; as well as building partnerships between civil society organisations and international institutions. This was particularly enriching as I learned about the transformational potential of such alliances in bringing attention to global health issues and building partnerships to address healthcare problems.

"My experience as a Global Health student and IDF delegate provided me with an impetus to contribute to, and promote discussions about African health systems, which I am passionate about.

"The support from the UCL Institute for Global Health was critical in enabling my participation to the conference. Sitting in the same seats where world leaders have influenced, and shaped policies was a phenomenal experience. I am grateful to Dr. Rochelle Burgess and Dr. Jane Cavanagh for their invaluable support and guidance throughout my time at IGH.”

Welcome Day at the forum