Published: 04-09-2023 12:16 | Updated: 06-09-2023 09:00

Anders Tegnell kicks-off Case Challenge on pandemic preparedness with new global public health students

Anders Tegnell, Marie Hasselberg in front of the students
Anders Tegnell, Marie Hasselberg Photo: Helle Mölsted Alvesson

On August 31, 80 new master's students from 23 different countries were welcomed to the Department of Global Public Health at Karolinska Institutet. During a welcome day, they got to know their new department, received tips on the use of AI tools, answered a quiz from Gapminder, and got to know fellow new students. In addition, they were treated to a lecture by former state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell on the topic "Is the pandemic over?"

The day was organized by the Educational Committee at GPH. The students were welcomed by Marie Hasselberg, Head of the Department of Global Public Health. Marie gave the students some good words along the way: "You will meet different people with different experiences and perspectives so please be open-minded" She also emphasized the importance of not forgetting the critical thinking that is an important tool as a student.

Anders Tegnell talked about the pandemic with the students
Former state epidemiologist Anders Tegnell was invited to give a lecture to the students on the theme "Is the pandemic over" which included a reflection on Sweden's strategy for covid-19 and how important it is to have a sustainable and long-term strategy. Anders also emphasized that "we do not know at all what the next challenge will look like and how it will affect society". In light of that, he also mentioned that it is not possible to draw too many conclusions about how to prepare for the next pandemic based on covid-19, although there are many lessons for society at large.

Anders Tegnell, Marie Hasselberg in front of the students
Photo: Helle Mölsted Alvesson

Based on Tegnell’s lecture, students worked on a mini-case challenge in inter-program groups. They were given the task of identifying a stakeholder relevant to a pandemic preparedness plan and then creating a “problem tree”. The problem tree consisted of outlining the causes and consequences of a focal problem encountered during the covid-19 pandemic. The resulting posters were presented and a panel of experts from the department provided feedback, sharing their experiences and insights.

Voices from two new students
Several of the students on site appreciated the welcome day, and some of them were Yunhao Xu and Li Weiqi, from China, who are both studying the master's program in Global Health.

” The day was full of useful and practical information for my study and life in KI and the lecture with Anders Tegnell was useful and thought-provoking, especially for me who worked in a vaccine manufacturer, we really need to figure out the right direction and pipeline in the post-pandemic period, said Li Weiqi.

Anders Tegnell, Marie Hasselberg in front of the students
Photo: Maja Rudolphson

“The case challenge was the best part that provided me an opportunity to collaborate with students from the other program and the case challenge was a new format for me, said Yunhao Xu.”

The day ended with closing remarks from the Departmental Director of Basic and Advanced Education at GPH, Helle Mölsted Alvesson on the importance of student-centered learning activities. Active participation of students is a cornerstone in the master programs. Finally, the day concluded with a classic Swedish fika for the students to try out a popular activity in Sweden.