MCH doctoral student gives talk at World Islamic Economic Forum

Nov. 18, 2013

Smisha Agarwal, first-year doctoral student in maternal and child health at the Gillings School, was an invited speaker at the ninth annual World Islamic Economic Forum, held in London Oct. 29-31.

Smisha Agarwal

Smisha Agarwal

More than 2,600 leaders of business and politics, from about 20 countries, attended the conference, the theme of which was “Changing World, New Relationships.”

“I had the opportunity to meet with presidents, prime ministers, directors general of health, and royal families from several nations,” Agarwal said. “It was an extraordinary experience to see Muslim world leaders unite to talk about development, health and the role of women, amongst other things.”

Agarwal spoke about the role of mobile technologies in health care.

“The ubiquitous use of mobile phones in developing countries has really changed the way we think about health service delivery,” she said. “Even among the poorest populations with limited access to water and electricity, people now have access to cellular technology. This opens up a tremendous opportunity for us as public health practitioners to think about innovative ways in which we can improve health prevention and promotion, remotely connect patients to providers and facilitate real-time capture of vital health information.”

Agarwal writes about the role of mobile technologies in health care in the Global Motherhood section of The Huffington Post. She is chief executive officer and director of Global Health Bridge and has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization Technical Advisory Group on mHealth (mobile health) since 2012.  


Gillings School of Global Public Health contact: David Pesci, director of communications, (919) 962-2600 or dpesci@unc.edu