Introducing the International Alliance for Global Health Dermatology (GLODERM)

29 March 2019

Skin health for all, locally and globally


Washington DC: This February, 60 participants gathered to launch GLODERM (the International Alliance for Global Health Dermatology). GLODERM is an alliance of professionals, trainees, and other concerned individuals to advance skin care provision to those in resource-poor settings.

The aim of GLODERM is to provide a community of individuals focused on global health dermatology who will provide expertise to international health agencies, share best practice, pool technical know-how and support trainees wishing to pursue a career in global health dermatology.

The scientific content was kicked off by Professor Ousmane Faye, who shared his experience of maintaining dermatology care during the Northern Mali conflict of 2012-15. He described how the political conflict led him to transition from his (International Foundation for Dermatology (IFD) supported) one day face-to-face trainings to a teledermatology model. Dr Isabel Casas reported on her experiences from rural Patagonia, Argentina, in a remote area with very limited access to dermatological care. She has developed community dermatology provision with an additional novel element of educating children through interactive drama workshops on sun protection. Both Isabel and Ousmane were supported to participate in GLODERM by the IFD.

Additional presentations covered the role of institutional partnerships, mentorship in global health dermatology, and the role of dermatologists in refugee/migrant health. Drs. Carrie Kovarik and Tori Williams discussed their experience with the UPenn/Botswana program, that hosts dermatology residents through the AAD’s Resident International Grant and discussed how to successfully partner with local care organisations. Drs. Toby Maurer and Scott Norton discussed how mentorship in global health dermatology can be key to long-term, sustainable work in resource care settings. The group was delighted to hear of the new Dermatology residency training programme about to start in Eldoret, Kenya as well as the regional Dermatology training unit now established in Fiji. Finally, Dr. Alexia Knapp shared her experiences in supporting the dermatological needs of refugee/migrants.

GLODERM’s leadership includes Esther Freeman (Harvard, FAAD), Claire Fuller (IFD and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital, London), and Wingfield Rehmus (University of British Columbia). The steering committee also includes Erin Amerson, Aileen Chang, Alexia Knapp, Scott Norton, Kari Wanat and Linda Oyesiku.

In the next year, the Alliance is looking forward to developing a repository of global and community health projects in resource-poor settings across the globe in order to promote communication and sharing of best practices worldwide. GLODERM will also serve as a training platform for mentors and mentees in the area of global health Dermatology. Please join us at next year’s GLODERM annual scientific meeting, to be held in Denver, Colorado, and visit the website for a full calendar of upcoming events.