With the first NUNAMED conference in 1991, a new era of health research in Greenland started. The chairman of the Greenlandic Physicians’ Association at the time got the bold idea of organising a health science conference in Nuuk focusing on study results of and challenges in health research in Greenland. Together with an organising team in Nuuk, the chairman managed to put together a unique conference. While organising the first conference, the organisers had agreed that if 40 persons would participate in the conference they could call it a success – a total of 165 people ended up participating. Since then, NUNAMED has been held every third year – 1994, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013 and latest in October 2016. The next congress will be held on the 5th – 7th of October 2019. The NUNAMED conference in 2003 was held together with the 12th International Congress on Circumpolar Health. Here, 350 participants participated, and 200 oral presentations were given.
The first NUNAMED in 1991 was held on the 5th floor of Hotel Hans Egede, and the premises were already then too small for plenary sessions. The Hotel was not prepared to hold these kinds of scientific events, which led to presenters having to improvise and using their hands to draw their figures in the air.
At the opening of NUNAMED 1994 the past Member for Health and Environment of the Greenland Home Rule, Dr. Ove Rosing Olsen, stated, that NUNAMED was to be a recurring event. This has subsequent organising committees lived up to.
Technical advancements, a new cultural house and facilities in Nuuk made it possible for NUNAMED to be able to host the increasing number of participants. Still, the view of Sermitsiaq and the Nuuk fjord still provides a stunning scenery for inspiraring presentations and talks, and for networking with researchers, health professionals, policy workers and politicians from primarily Greenland and Denmark, and other circumpolar countries. All gathering to share their common interest in improving health conditions and well-being for the Greenlandic population.