As the youngest person on the list I am very grateful for this platform to introduce myself, as not many will recognize my name between all the famous candidates. I really hope young researchers will be provided the same space in the upcoming society and on its board. If I get elected, at least I will try my best!

I am currently studying medicine and moral philosophy at Ghent University, Belgium. I am also an active member of the People’s Health Movement. As part of the final year of my medical education I’m doing a research internship at the Institute of Tropical Medicine, in the Public Health & Health Policy Unit. Thanks to the support of ITM I have had the opportunity to join the Emerging Voices both to Montreux and Beijing, as a Young Voice. Meeting my peers at these events was (and is) an enriching and inspiring experience and I am dedicated to facilitate the use of the new Society as a platform to share ideas amongst emerging leaders in the field and to connect with senior voices.

Reading through the Roundtable Discussion, I especially liked the suggestion of the Emerging Voices to use technology in fostering interaction and collaboration. A range of e-learning programs could be used not only between researchers, but also as introductory courses for policy makers or to attract young researchers. I would also be happy to use my network in the International Federation of Medical Students’ Association (IFMSA) to reach out to medical students and engage them early on.

Aside from my enthusiasm and ideas however, I also have many questions. The lack of communication around the voting and election process is a big concern to me. Is there or is there not a space foreseen for young researchers? How will the remaining seats on top of the fixed seats for the six WHO regions be filled? If there will be only one seat for the EURO region I wouldn’t want to take the place of a more senior voice… Are such things taken into account?

I am convinced that there should be young voices on the board. But I’m also convinced we need a transparent process. To date I have no clear picture of how the actual board composition will be decided on. Many other people are asking similar questions and I hope the organizers will address them before the end of the voting.

It probably was a surprise to many of us to get eleven votes instead of one. But now that you have them, you might consider giving one to the future generation.


Happy to answer any of your questions,


Natalie Eggermont

Young Voice, Institute of Tropical Medicine


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