This year I had the privilege of attending the 8th Annual Unite For Sight Conference held at Yale University on April 16-17, 2011 with another KILN scholar, Paulina Miklosz. Over 2,200 participants from more than 50 countries came to New Haven, Connecticut to present, discuss, and listen about the current challenges and solutions of global health.

Throughout the weekend, I was able to attend a variety of presentations ranging from evidence-based research projects to social enterprise pitches. Among some of the topics were disability in the developing world, women’s health in rural areas, challenges of reproductive tourism, and effective architectural design for health clinics. It was amazing to see how others have collaborated on identifying global problems and designing solutions that were proven to be successful through follow-ups with the working countries.

The student presentations on various research efforts and studies were the most influential part of the conference. It was empowering to hear about the work of students who were in my footsteps just several years ago. Some of my favorites include a look into prison healthcare, the unmet need of refractive correction in Los Angeles, and Medic Mobile (a revolutionary system of communication from rural areas to city clinics via text message).

Through this conference, I learned a tremendous amount about global health and the many issues we have yet to improve. This conference aroused a side of me I never knew – I now have a newfound interest in public health and international development, and I am so excited to explore these ideas further.

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