19-th of July 2022
Prof. Tomasz Grodzicki (Vice-Rector for Medical College), Prof. Oleg Lozan (Director) and Dr Laurent Chambaud (Dean), representing respectively the Jagiellonian University Medical College (JUMC) in Krakow, Poland, the School of Public Health Management (SPHM) of the Republic of Moldova in Chisinau, and the EHESP French School of Public Health in Rennes, signed the agreement on direct scientific, academic and cultural cooperation and development. The three academic institutions aim to foster and facilitate exchange of staff and students for teaching and research purposes, including lectures, seminars, conferences, preparing joint publications, as well as developing various forms of exchange and mobilities, like internships or practical placements.
The value of peaceful academic cooperation and the need for developing it in Europe have been made dramatically clear in a shadow of the ongoing war in Ukraine, caused by the brutal Russian aggression in February 2022. From the very onset of the current bloody conflict, all three academic institutions from Poland, Moldova and France have been involved in various initiatives aiming to provide a proper and timely response to the emerging challenges, which scale has become unprecedented in Europe since the end of World War II. In particular, they have been focusing on challenges related to the public health, health care, and humanitarian crises.
The EHESP in Rennes has been taking part in initiatives led by the Association of Schools of Public Health in the European Region (ASPHER), in particular by co-leading a working group on refugees, cooperating with Ukraine’s neighbouring countries. The EHESP wishes to support schools of public health in countries bordering Ukraine, which are currently facing a major and sudden influx of refugees, in particular by taking into account the historical partnership with the Institute of Public Health of the Faculty of Health Sciences of the JUMC in Krakow.
The SPHM in Chisinau has launched several initiatives in the context of war which is very close to Moldova’s borders, such as trainings and support materials for authorities, refugees and general population, like “Guide on the organization and operation of temporary camps for disaster victims” and “Guide on the management of medical staff in crisis situations”. One of the SPHM’s new initiatives is the National Health Communication Platform which will ensure a transparent, professional, apolitical and equidistant dialogue with all institutions from the public health system, in order to provide decision-making support for managers and health authorities at all levels.
In Krakow, the JUMC including its Institute of Public Health, have been actively involved in mitigating the public health and humanitarian crises caused by the war in Ukraine. Among others, this has included opening the student dormitories to war refugees from Ukraine, organizing public gatherings of food and other items needed by refugees, arranging help in language translations, legal and psychological support, organizing a hub of information exchange, providing various forms of support for the Ukrainian students, as well as spreading consciousness about war and its consequences within international academic community. Both Institute of Public Health of the JUMC in Krakow and the SPHM in Chisinau have been also involved in ASPHER’s initiatives aiming to respond to the war in Ukraine.
At this point in time, these three academic institutions from France, Moldova and Poland, are joining their efforts to address the challenges for societies, scholars, researchers and students, which are resulting from the very unstable situation in Europe and the whole world. They understand that there is a growing need to foster educational cooperation, as well as scientific research on important topics related to public health, including new topics of which the academicians didn’t think of only a few months ago, before the onset of the current war in Ukraine. They hope that the recently signed agreement will serve as a platform for new joint projects and research funding initiatives.
Each Party of the agreement has designated a liaison person for implementing their agreement. This includes Ms Fanny Helliot, Director of International Relations, on behalf of EHESP; Prof. Oleg Lozan on behalf of SPHM, and Dr Tomasz Bochenek, Deputy Director of the Institute of Public Health, on behalf of JUMC.
Prepared by: Tomasz Bochenek