Harvard Chan Africa Health Student Forum

Dear members of the AHF,

It is with great pleasure that I write to you today. Some of you would have been waiting for this introductory message, others will have forgotten that AHF even exists! Well, not to worry, the new committee has been transitioned over the last couple of weeks; and we are committed to furthering the debate and even pushing the dominant discourse on Public Health issues facing the continent. We are planning various events for the year and have many good ideas of how to achieve our goals.

First, it would be remiss of me if I didn’t thank the outgoing committee – for both their
warm welcoming and their dedication to the organization last year. It is because of their
hard work that we are able to consolidate on a healthy membership base and strengthen
the collaborations and events initiated by them.

Second, the focus this year will be on contextualizing health in Africa. And when I speak of this I mean to include everything that has resulted in Africans’ finding themselves in the situation they are in – it is not mere coincidence! On the contrary, it is the result of many centuries of deliberate injustice. The production of “health” can now be seen as the tension between that which concerns the individual and a very complex socioeconomic and political terrain. We will be discussing this and how this manifests through the metaphor of “health”. This does not mean that we will not be supporting any other aspects of health research, just that it will not be taking center-stage.

Third, it seems important to us that all African organizations across the campus work together, learn from each other and just simply hang out. Indeed, while we approach issues from different angles, we are addressing the same fundamental problems. We have made this a priority and will be forging new and strengthening existing relationships with other African bodies across the university.

Last, we want this to be an open and democratic space. There is little point in collaborating with other organizations if we ourselves are not linking up within our own group. Our committee meetings are open to everyone. If anyone has any ideas for events, suggestions or general comments please engage us – it would make our day! All meeting minutes,  reports and applicable documents will be made available to all members in due course. We are excited about the year and look forward to seeing many of you at our events!

A luta continua.

Che-Len Reddy (President) chr919@mail.harvard.edu

Mamka Anyona (Treasurer) roa835@mail.harvard.edu

Jennifer Addo (Secretary) jea724@mail.harvard.edu

Ashley Demming (Secretary) asd375@mail.harvard.edu