We have a lot to learn from the University’s empowering approach to teaching students – the programmes seek to look at their strengths, recognize their world view, and build on that. For nursing students, for example, that could mean acknowledging that they may have a detailed knowledge of anatomy because of their experiences from hunting growing up, and use that in a positive way to support learning.
Gert Mulvad, Head of the Greenland Centre for Health Research, and the Lead of the TN "Health and Well-being in the Arctic" fellow academics and PhD students then introduced us to some of their research work. One promising project was looking at improving eye care in Greenland where great distances and a lack of ophthalmologists prove challenging. Telemedicine can be used to treat most eye diseases, and where direct contact with the patient is needed, the project has identified that engaging and training optometrists who speak the language, are educated, local and professional is an excellent option to extend care.
Over lunch we were treated to Greenlandic tapas, including musk-ox and reindeer– delicate, delicious and a clear example of the One Health idea so fundamental to Greenlandic identity that our well-being is linked to our relationship with the natural world and the food we eat. “Ilisimatusarfik” means ‘place where you gain knowledge’, and the University certainly lived up to its name for our visit.