15 October 2019

Global Health Case Challenge 2019: And the winners are...

Global Health Case Challenge

On 10th and 11th October, 72 students with 31 nationalities from 17 universities engaged in 26 different study programmes joined in Copenhagen for the annual Global Health Case Challenge hosted by University of Copenhagen. The case was provided by Cities Changing Diabetes and Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen and the students were asked to design an intervention to break the curve of obesity through promotion of population health and wellbeing in a local community in Mexico City, Copenhagen or Shanghai.

Participants in Global Health Case Challenge
Global Health Case Challenge 2019: All participants after their pitches. Foto: Mathias Vilhelmsen.

The challenge

More and more people are living with obesity. Worldwide, obesity has nearly tripled since 1975 and in 2016, 39% of all adults were overweight and 13% were obese. We know that obesity can have serious consequences on people’s health and it strains health care systems and individual’s health and quality of life. Obesity is preventable in most cases but no country has yet succeeded in bending the curve of obesity.

Early Thursday morning on the 10th of October, after a welcome speech by Prorector Bente Merete Stallknecht and inspirational talks from the case providers, the students opened the sealed envelopes containing the case question. All fifteen teams settled into the SUND Hub at the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences and dispersed into their allocated rooms, which served as their burrows and think tanks for the next 28 hours.

Global Health Case Challenge 2019: Opening speech by UCPH Prorector, Bente Stallknecht. Foto: Mathias Vilhelmsen
Ida Lochte
Global Health Case Challenge 2019: Inspirational speech by Global Project Manager, Ida Löchte, Cities Changing Diabetes. Foto: Mathias Vilhelmsen

Friday afternoon at 2pm the students handed in their solutions and at 4pm they all gathered to pitch their solution in front of an expert jury and the public at The Culture Night – Copenhagen’s largest annual cultural event. Each team had 5 minutes to pitch their solution followed by five minutes of questions from the jury:

  • Morten Elsøe, Health Advisor and Debater, Livstilshuset
  • Ninna Thomsen, Director, Mødrehjælpen, former Mayor of Health and Care, Copenhagen
  • Bo Wesley, Senior Advisor, Cities Changing Diabetes, Novo Nordisk
  • Paul Bloch, Research Manager, Steno Diabetes Center Copenhagen
  • Flemming Konradsen, Professor, Director of School of Global Health, University of Copenhagen
The jury
Global Health Case Challenge 2019: The jury. Foto: Mathias Vilhelmsen

The winning solutions

The three best solutions were selected based on their qualities in terms of general response to the case question, elements of innovation, feasibility and presentations.

1st Prize – Team 1: Taking Healthy Eating and Active Living to Church

The solution: The Church, as one of the most influential institutions in Mexico, offers a broad outreach, credibility, and physical infrastructure to implement obesity intervention measures at the community level with limited cost. Therefore, a church-based and community-delivered approach is needed. The selected parish will be assigned a public health worker, who trains volunteers recruited from the church community to become proficient in methods of obesity intervention.

Team members:  Kirsten Häntzschel, Tobias Weitzel, Elena Venturoni and Juliette Éléonore Nicolaï – all MSc Global Health students from University of Copenhagen.

The winning team
Global Health Case Challenge: The winning team. Foto: Mathias Vilhelmsen

2nd Prize – Team 7: BUMP (Brønshøj Uniting Mothers in Pregnancy)

The solution: In Copenhagen, the public health care system offers advice about nutrition and exercise during pregnancy, but does not provide the support or resources to act upon this advice. BUMP (Brønshøj Uniting Mothers in Pregnancy) is a pilot programme combining best practices to target first time pregnant women in Brønshøj, focusing on long-term community building through exercise, nutrition and cooking. BUMP aims to empower vulnerable women in a low-socio-economic area with a high prevalence of diabetes, with the knowledge and support to implement healthy, long-lasting lifestyle practices during their pregnancy.

Team Members:  Linette Knudsen, Naomi Jade Kellogg (Global Development, University of Copenhagen), Riazan Hawaz-Ali (Medicine, University of Copenhagen), Mrinaalika Sivakumar (Premedical Program, Harvard University) and Eline Hjellup Horne (Clinical Nutrition, University of Oslo).

Team 7
Global Health Case Challenge 2019: Team 7 is questioned by the jury after their pitch. Foto: Mathias Vilhelmsen.

3rd Prize – Team 10: Happy habits

The solution: Happy habits is a youth NGO working with kids in the age 8-13 from low socioeconomic areas in Copenhagen. It is a vacation camp and a club in Nordvest where children will be exposed to a healthy diet and physical activity through volunteer-role models. Furthermore, the children are engaged in the planning of the content of the activities to gain ownership, which will be a key parameter to make them stay in the project.

Team members: Dániel Rakaczki, Riku Kobayashi (Global Nutrition and Health, University College Copenhagen), Ronan Lemwel P. Valdecantos (Public Health, University of Debrecen), Simon Dec Pedersen, (Global Development, University of Copenhagen) and Niklas Rumohr (Cell Biology, University of Copenhagen)

Team 10
Global Health Case Challenge 2019: Members from team 10 preparing their pitch in SUND Hub. Foto: Mathias Vilhelmsen.

The winning team has been invited to meet winners from 31 similar EIT Health supported events across Europe and pitch their solution at the so-called i-Day Winners’ Event in Paris 1st of December. Furthermore, the three best teams are invited to pitch their solutions to Cities Changing Diabetes selected staff and partners.

More than 30 case challenge participants will continue working on their ideas in the Challenge Track offered by SUND Hub. During ten weeks, they will be given training on how to mature their idea and how to pitch it.

Read more about the Global Health Case Challenge.