Adi Vyas

Adi Vyas

I am a Lecturer at University of Bergen (Norway) & Medical Advisor at the Ministry of Health (Sydney, Australia). I'm interested in global health, sustainable healthcare, and peace work. Tw @adipodean

Location Sydney, Australia


  • Adi Vyas made a comment

    Thank you for sharing your initial reactions - as we go on in the next steps, we will think about this scenario more objectively. However, it's important to recognise the initial emotional or subjective reaction that we would have if we were in this situation - as healthcare workers, or simply as human beings.

  • Adi Vyas made a comment

    It's great to meet everyone! I will be facilitating the first week of the MOOC together with Gabriella. I'm looking forward to further engaging with you all.

  • Remember also that a country like Sierra Leone (affected by the Ebola outbreak) had a recent history of a civil war, and therefore a reasonably strong military presence. Using the military's logistical and manpower assistance certainly allowed aid workers to reach areas quickly, and set up the necessary structures to fight the outbreak.

  • This is a good point Christina - I can imagine that if I was in this situation as a health worker in the hospital, my immediate reaction would be to ensure the safety of myself and my colleagues. The more complex question of "who should we ask for assistance" comes next!

  • Adi Vyas made a comment

    Welcome, everyone! In case you have joined us late, don't worry. Although mentors will be actively supporting the current week of the course, they will also be present in the study groups ( Head over there to have some more in-depth debate on the principles of medical peace work!

  • One of my favourite quotes from Virchow is "Medicine is a social science and politics is nothing but medicine writ large". Learners may wish to read more about this here:

  • Some really good insights here, Rijen. In fact, there is a speciality or field of practice within the health profession called "public health". Practitioners in this field try to understand and address the structural causes of poor health.

    A related term is "social determinants of health" - can anyone suggest how that would be relevant here?

  • Adi Vyas made a comment

    Hi - I'm Adi. I work in the Ministry of Health in Sydney, Australia. I'll be the lead educator on this course, but as you can see, we have several fantastic facilitators and mentors. I'm very glad to see all the eager learners online!

  • Here is an easily accessible article for those who want to learn more about Aedes Albopictus:

  • Good point! Aedes Albopictus (or the "Asian Tiger Mosquito") is a major, potential threat to public health. There is a good chance that it could spread to major urban centres, so governments and ministries of health are on the look out - through active surveillance, trapping and testing. For those who are interested, here is the Aussie perspective written by...

  • Good question, Nicky. The simple answer is that what is "dangerously hot" in one place may not be the same in another place - the impact of heatwaves on health is based on more than just the total temperature. The impact will depend on recent temperatures, the geography of the area, and individuals' biological ability to adapt to temperatures.


  • Thank you for raising this very good point. Concepts such as Sustainable Development, One Health, and Planetary Health are useful frameworks for us to understand the ecological phenomena which impact on human health. Many experts in this area now state that the time for debating whether climate change is real is over. Rather, these frameworks show us that...

  • Nice question, Janina, and a very thoughtful response, Eva!

  • Really nice interaction here! In response to some of Steven's comments, the World Health Organization describes health as a "fundamental right of every human being". And health, in turn, is "fundamental to the attainment of peace and security". As you can see, the basic position which you start from when defining health (and access to health, and payment for...

  • A very thorough response, Elizabeth!

  • Nicely summarised, Deya. We will see the response to all these questions unfold over the next few steps of this week!

  • Thank you for those who felt able to share their experiences - we can learn a lot from each other on this course, and I'd encourage more people to share their stories. However, as someone pointed out on another step, when we think about peace and health work, we don't have to think about some exotic location of armed insurgency or violent conflict in a...

  • Absolutely. An important concept in the field of medical peace work is "non-violent communication". Learners may wish to explore further here: Try to read this in conjunction with step 1.17 where we present the Do No Harm framework.

  • This is a fascinating example - thank you for sharing. I agree with you that we should consider violence at various levels (more on this in the next step). During the Ebola outbreaks, there was definitely an element of paternalism (possibly extending to cultural violence). However, many healthcare workers may have the opposing view, that individuals who did...

  • Good thought! You will see in the next step that we describe something called "structural violence". This is similar to the concept you have expressed here. Let us know what you think.

  • I absolutely agree that one way to understand the impact of violence is to consider the underlying, social determinants of health - these are the things that are often out of our control, but have a profound impact our health.

  • This is really important to recognise. Well done! We'll explore this further in week 3 and 4.

  • I can see that a lot of people have made comments that reflect the "hidden" forms of violence - acts of omission and subtle misuses of the power positions. These are important to recognise as they have an additive effect to direct violence. It all adds up, but it can be hard to decipher when you're treating the patient affected by violence.