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SALURBAL team members share work at regional workshop on urban health in El Salvador

group of SALURBAL researchers at conference in El Salvador

San Salvador, El Salvador, October 1, 2019

On September 26-28, 2019, SALURBAL team members attended an “International Urban Health Workshop for Latin America and the Caribbean” organized by the International Science Council’s Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean (ISC-ROLAC) in San Salvador, El Salvador.

The workshop, chaired by Dr. Manuel Limonta, Director of ISC-ROLAC, included presentations from representatives that discussed issues ranging from the global to the hyper-local. Participants traveled to El Salvador for the workshop from Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Brazil, China, France, and the US. Presenters shared their experiences implementing urban health programs, policies, and research in their local context.

researchers at table discussing health data in latin america

Six SALURBAL team members gave presentations at the workshop.

  • Claire Slesinski, Senior Program Manager for Global Urban Health at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative, who also serves as the SALURBAL project manager, gave an overview of the state of urban health in Latin America and the Caribbean, and presented preliminary results from the SALURBAL project’s analysis of mortality data in 363 cities.
  • Francisco Diez Canseco, Associate Researcher at the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, presented an overview of research implemented by the CRONICAS group at UPCH related to diet and food environment, including a SALURBAL-funded policy evaluation project examining the effectiveness of nutritional warnings be placed on processed food and beverages.
  • Catalina Medina García, Researcher at the Instituto Nacional de Salúd Pública in Mexico and SALURBAL team member, presented research examining accessibility of parks and green space in Mexico City and the safety and attractiveness of that green space, and how this relates to physical activity among city residents.
  • Fernanda Kroker, Principal Investigator for the SALURBAL project at the Institute of Nutrition of Central America and Panama’s Research Center for the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, presented an overview of the implementation of and findings generated from SALURBAL’s three participatory group model building workshops in Peru, Brazil, and Guatemala.
  • Lídia María de Oliveira Morais, Researcher and Project Manager for SALURBAL in Brazil, presented qualitative research she has conducted with participants of SALURBAL’s participatory group model building workshop in Brazil, to understand how their experience in the workshop impacted their ability to think and act using a systems perspective.
  • Ana Ortigoza, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the SALURBAL Project at the Drexel Urban Health Collaborative, presented her research on the influence of the urban social environment on infant mortality in Latin American cities.

On the final day of the workshop, SALURBAL team members joined discussions with other attendees, including an exciting conversation regarding challenges and recommendations for using “big data” to research and improve urban health in the region. This productive and engaging conversation was led by Dr. Simon Hudson, Executive Director of the International Science Council’s Committee on Data (CODATA).

In addition to hearing many exciting presentations and engaging in interesting discussions, the workshop was a valuable opportunity for regional networking, resulting in addition of several new members to the Urban Health Network for Latin America and the Caribbean.

woman at table speaking on panel discussion