Global Health

Leaving no-one behind

How can we effectively face the increasing global, complex, and multidimensional health challenges of our time? This is where global health comes into play -  a transdisciplinary area for study, research, and practice that places a priority on improving health and achieving health equity for all people worldwide. It aims to create equal opportunities to attain health and wellbeing (equity), for people in all countries and in all communities, making sure no-one is left behind.

Furthermore, global health focuses on the planetary crisis, wherein specific populations bear disproportionate burdens rooted in historical injustices. Despite the overarching goal of health equity, there persists a notable gap within the field in understanding and expertise regarding the implementation of principles of equity and justice within global health. These principles relate to the production, use and circulation of knowledge in the field of global health. 

Of all forms of inequality, health injustice is the most shocking and inhumane

Martin Luther King (1966)

The global health flagship strives to contribute to three critical global health challenges:

  1. Health equity and justice;
  2. Fair knowledge practices (epistemic justice) in global health;
  3. Planetary health and climate justice.

Specifically, it serves as a collaborative space where UU and UMCU researchers, lecturers, students from all faculties, and national and international social partners can come together to exchange ideas and implement innovative strategies to address these challenges. These link to all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and in particularly SDG 3 (Good health & wellbeing), SDG 4 (Quality Education), SDG 5 (Gender equality), SDG 10 (Reduced inequalities), SDG 13 (Climate Action) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).


  • 2024 Global Health Summer Schools

    We are excited to announce the launch of five summer school courses that promise unique insights into various dimensions of Global Health. These courses range from an introduction to global health to courses specializing in surgery, obstetrics, maternal and child health, implementation science, ethics and equity from a global perspective. Global Health UMC Utrecht invites healthcare professionals, students, and enthusiasts to join these educational journeys, connect with like-minded individuals, and contribute to the advancement of global healthcare. By sharing knowledge and experiences, the aim is to work towards building a healthier and more equitable world. Read more

  • Catalysing Transformative Change in Planetary Health Education (CATA-Earth) project launch

    In 2015, the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on Planetary Health defined planetary health as “the achievement of the highest attainable level of health, well-being, and equity throughout the world through judicious attention to the systems human rights (political, economic and social) that shape the future of humanity and the Earth’s natural systems that define the safe environmental limits within which humanity can thrive. Simply put, planetary health is the health of human civilization and the state of the natural systems on which it depends.” Read more

  • Education for refugee students at UMC Utrecht

    The educational program aimed at refugee students, initially piloted with predominantly Ukrainian medical students at UMC Utrecht last year, has now expanded its reach. This summer marks the launch of a revamped edition, catering to the increasing demand as refugees from various nations enroll. This initiative not only supports refugee students in continuing their medical education but also addresses the pressing need for skilled healthcare professionals in host countries. Read more

Meet our team:


Educational partners

  • University of Sydney, (USYD), Australia
  • Anton de Kom University of Paramaribo, (ADEKUS), Suriname
  • Asian University for Women (AUW), Bangladesh
  • University of Ghana

Hospitals / medical faculties

  • Mulanje Mission Hospital (MMH), Malawi
  • St. Luke’s Medical Center, The Philippines
  • Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Ghana


  • Kansrijke Start, Nederland
  • Kenniscentrum Global Health (KCGH)