SIT Academic Director Dr. Christian Viladent presented at the 18th International Humanitarian Conference held in Geneva, Switzerland, from February 21–22, 2013. The conference is sponsored by Webster University in Geneva and brings together practitioners and scholars, members of the Geneva-based international community, and other civil society officials and representatives. This year’s conference was focused on access to health.
Dr. Viladent presented his latest research, which focuses on access to medicines in humanitarian interventions in relation to logistical and political factors. In his presentation, he argued that two major complications in providing medicine during long-term humanitarian interventions in developing countries are the risk of counterfeit medicines and lack of patient compliance.
In chronic humanitarian settings, Dr. Viladent argued, medicine management requires both solid measures to detect counterfeit pharmaceuticals and ensure quality in procurement, and creativity in increasing and sustaining patient compliance with consideration to local economic and cultural contexts.
Dr. Viladent is the academic director of the SIT Study Abroad Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy program, which examines public health systems, health policy, and development from the international nexus of Geneva; particular emphasis is placed on the role played by international agencies, civil society actors, and the public sector in shaping health policy and systems. All students on the Switzerland program attended the conference.
The conference’s keynote address was given by US Ambassador to the UN and International Organizations in Geneva, H. E. Betty E. King, and linked poor health to political instability. Other topics considered this year included access to essential medicines, access to safe water, HIV/AIDS and other pandemics, and health and migration.
Dr. Viladent has a doctorate in pharmacy from Paris XI University; a doctorate in economics, with a concentration in health management, from HEC, University of Lausanne, Switzerland; and a certificate in pharmacoepidemiology from the Pasteur Institute in Paris. See a list of Dr. Viladent’s recent publications and complete CV.