An international conference envisaged and organized in the spirit of sharing and learning from each other, saw delegates from 110 universities and 30 organisations from around the world convened at the University of Limerick to discuss community empowerment for health. The delegates who came from a range of backgrounds gathered to discuss how to create opportunities for others within their communities, to become more informed by giving them the confidence, skills, resources, and power to shape and influence their own health.
The main outcome of the conference, according to one of the main organizers, Dr Khalifa Elmusharaf, was a Limerick declaration on community empowerment. He proceeded to emphasize that the Conference ‘declares that community empowerment goes beyond the traditional methods of listening, information sharing and consultation’.
The Conference ‘involves a change in power relations and enabling people to have more control, and responsibility, for their own health’, according to Dr Elmusharaf. And its declaration, he maintains, is a ‘call of action on educational institutes and organizations worldwide to lead the change process for community empowerment and social accountability.’
Both Dr Khalifa Elmusharaf and Dr Anca Minescu, the Assistant Dean International at the Faculty of Education and Health Science at the University of Limerick, described the Conference as ‘a resounding success’.
It is worth noting that Dr Khalifa Elmusharaf, who is a Senior Lecturer in Public Health at the Graduate Entry Medical School at University of Limerick is a notable graduate of UMS.