Griff Goes Global: The Buzz in Global Health

IMG_8018 - Catherine Burns.JPG

On the chilly night of 6th November 2018, Students for Global Health BL retreated to the warmth of the Griff to host our first Griff Goes Global event! This a recurring event where students meet at the Griff to debate the latest topics in global health. The theme of our first event was: THE BUZZ IN GLOBAL HEALTH!

GGG#1 was led by our fearless Education Officers, Madeleine Bell and Hana Mahmood, as well as our ever-wonderful VP Elisa Dalle Piagge! The fabulous Numa, Treasurer extraordinaire, brought muchos snackos and Pres Katie very much appreciated the dips and chips (that’s right, FREE FOOD!).

How does GGG work? Everyone is grouped on to different tables, and each table has a debate topic. Epic battles are waged as people passionately debate their opinions, then the debate topics are rotated, and the battles begin again. From the logical reasoners, the quiet head-shakers, the loud arguers and the devil’s advocates, we had an amazing time debating the most important health issues that are currently affecting our world.

We are so excited about GGG and we hope that it will become one of our most successful events! Check out our FB and instagram to find out when the next Griff Goes Global event is on!

Much love,

SfGH-BL Committee


Written by Katie Burns

SfGH Pan-London Pub Quiz

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On the 19th of October members of SfGH-BL made the monumental trek from the realms of the East End to the UCL campus. We were destined for the Pan London Global Health Quiz night. Unfortunately, we realised we did not know where we were going until we started out on our journey, so arrived in Barts time.

Upon arrival, we quickly established that ‘pub quiz’ wasn’t the most apt name for this event. Instead of a small cosy London pub (think The Leaky Cauldron from Harry Potter), it was in an equally as charming rec room in the UCL student hub.

The competition was tough; there was a variety of teams representing the different London unis, such as Imperial, UCL, Kings and The Royal Veterinary College. Arguably (arguably not) you could have cut the tension in the room with a knife as all teams waited with baited breath for the first round of questions.

The first round of the quiz was Global Health. ‘Never fall at the first hurdle’ became our mantra as Barts (questionably) guessed half of the questions in the first round. Despite our President Katie Burns preparing the quiz she was no help; nothing could get her to break and give us any hints as to the answers. Neither money nor food could break her. We were well and truly in the desert alone.

This first round was one of the tougher rounds for Barts, but this was the same for most of the teams present. Despite a wobbly start Barts came out with a total of seven out of ten points!

The next round consisted of world flags. It was during this round that some students on the Barts team wondered whether it was too late to switch from their current career path to Geography. Barts came out the winners of this round, winning eight and a half points.

However, it was the next round, the famous ‘name-that-doctor’ round, where BL scored a monumental nine out of ten points, and established our place as the leading team.

Despite this lead, our win was not yet secured. In the music round, it became apparent that if the song was not a current hit, from the noughties or an eighties classic (i.e the anthem that is Dolly Partons 9-5) we probably didn’t know it. We managed to scrape through with a respectable six and a half points, however the competition was gaining and the pressure was well and truly on.

The final round consisted of famous films in which Barts and all of the other teams threw in all that they had left.

We waited with baited breath for the tallying of the scores. VICTORY was ours as we managed to beat the RVC team by one point to take the trophy!

All teams were incredible and put in an amazing amount of effort and showed amazing quizmanship which ultimately made the night an extremely enjoyable one!

Check out our FB and instagram to see the trophy for yourself and find out when our next event is!


Written by Mollie Cronin


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On the warm night of the 17th of October, the members of Students for Global Health society gathered together in the room 3.04 (known for the best views in Garrod) to fulfil the missing positions on the committee. Around 16 people attended the EGM, including some guests from the national committee of SfGH. We started off by sharing a delicious cake baked by our lovely VP Elisa Dalle Piagge. It was still warm as our President Katie Burns made an opening speech during which she introduced society members who are already part of the committee. After voting on introduction of new positions, we swiftly moved on to voting for candidates running for each position. Everyone made a beautiful speech about how passionate they are about their role and, following quick vote conducted by the Secretary Ania Wozniak, almost all positions were filled.

We are very pleased with the outcomes of the EGM and we are hoping for an amazing year ahead. We are looking forward to this year as we believe that thanks to those new souls who decided to share their passion for global health, it will be a very successful year. We already have numerous events planned and even more ideas in our heads. With such a diverse committee, in which every member has a very different area of interest within global health, this year is going to be colourful and fun making Students for Global Health great again!

Written by Ania Wozniak

Project Gozo


The first year of students have graduated BL Malta and entered their 2nd year of studies on the MBBS Medicine course. A statement that alone seems very normal for such a school as Barts and The London, however we found out last year through brief communications with BL Malta students that this was not the case. A year characterized by feelings of isolation, uncertainty and malunion that emanated from the students living and studying in Gozo contrasts to students in London and seemed mismatched from the out-facing façade of the course. The fact that many students are unaware about our peers in Malta, what they do and how they’re faring is perhaps an indicator of how much progress there is to be made.

We at BL MESS strongly felt that a student led approach to bridging the two campuses could make a lasting impact on student experience in Gozo, so when the opportunity arose through Barts and The London Annual Fund we set about the task of building a project for the students of Malta.

Our primary aim was to bring some of the BL family-feeling to Malta by creating avenues for peer communication and learning that at BL we often take for granted. We are privileged as a university to have a historical society that covers all pre-clinical teaching under one roof and nurtures academic collaboration between peers in a way unseen by any other UK medical school. Every 1st year and 2nd year at BL knows that MESS will support them throughout those crucial years whenever they need it and whatever they need it for. In this sense, MESS is ingrained in the BL student experience in a way that often goes unsaid purely because it has become part of the fabric of the medical school.

This year, our aim is to bridge years 1 & 2 in BL Malta both internally, through peer-teaching, and externally, by enabling a line of academic support in the form of BL MESS. The result, we hope, would be to increase academic welfare and subsequently all aspects of student welfare within the campus. In addition, the creation of GozoMESS long-term will provide an autonomous source of support run and maintained by BL Malta students with a permanent foundation and link to London that augments those lines of support already in place through the faculty and BLSA. Through experience and resources we were confident BL MESS could achieve this and be part of the process bringing consistency in student experience between BL Malta and BL London. In turn, we also hope this will inspire other societies within Barts to reach out and bridge the gap to Malta. After all - we are all one big BL family.

After leaving Bow at 3am, a 3-hour flight from Gatwick and a 2-hour drive including 40 minutes on the ferry, we arrived 11am in Gozo with our best game-faces and set about getting started. After an extraordinary amount of 3 point turns we found where we were meant to be and started the process of settling in. After an extraordinary amount of 3 point turns we found where we were meant to be and started the process of settling in. What is MESS? While we often ponder our own existence, we ended the day by introducing ourselves to the new freshers in BL Malta as well as some of the returning students, hoping to inspire a fledgling committee into existence on Friday morning. GozoMESS made themselves the very next day, creating a committee tailored to how they thought MESS can work for them. Founding presidents Georgia and Joycee immediately began piecing together meetings, plans, ideas – the feels were extremely real.

The inaugural photo of GozoMESS’ first committee

The inaugural photo of GozoMESS’ first committee

For anyone who has worked with BL MESS, you will know we take a lot of pride in doing things correctly and doing things well, so it was fitting that we set about training the first generation of GozoMESS teachers. Osama Omrani eloquently set about inspiring BL Malta in such a way as that no one in Gozo will be safe from the amount of knowledge to be shared over the coming years. As is tradition, the inaugural ‘Unofficial Guide to MBBS’ was given to the freshers and at last, when we were at peace maybe at least one student would be inspired to a better year than they would otherwise have had. And so we set about the social.


Spreading the word – James Stevens and Osama Omrani delivering sessions to the students of BL Malta

Barts and The London is a family and as a family we share. So, it’s my duty to share with everyone that on behalf of you, we socialised and we socialised hard. No-one does organised fun as well as BL, so it was in tribute to that we set about breaking down international campus borders and chin-wagging until the early hours of Sunday morning.

It’s a serious issue when your welfare isn’t where it should be and in opening up and talking about it there is always a way forward. In BL Malta we found an inspiring group of students who embody the values of Barts and The London in full and then some, despite being so far away.

Gozo or Griff? Freshers week social with Gozo’s finest

Gozo or Griff? Freshers week social with Gozo’s finest

Societies – branch out! Open lines of communication and through technology or otherwise you can make an impact on the careers of a now 60-strong group of future doctors.

Students – if you meet a Gozo student offer them the full BL London experience. If you’re in a sports club for example, a 2-week London SSC could comprise of 2 training sessions, bonding though fitness and 2 nights at the jewel-of-the-BL-crown Griff Inn.

If we learnt anything over the 4-days we spent in Gozo it’s that we have 60 more brilliant members of our BL family than some of us know about. In creating GozoMESS BL Malta has begun an exciting journey in working towards matching BL London for academic support. Family is everything and in BL we do it great, but we can be better. Let’s do it. Maximum Effort.


James Stevens

Co-President BL MESS