Selected Themes 2017
Theme I: Addressing Ethical Challenges in Global Health Research
The field of global health research is being revolutionized in a fascinating way, as it is being influenced by technological advancements, emergency situations and low resource settings, and as such, requires new approaches beyond existing procedures. First, due to rapid advancements in technology, Big-data analytics for smarter health is emerging, providing great potentials, but also ethical challenges such as information security and patient privacy. Second, emergencies such as the recent Ebola epidemic and the Zika virus outbreak, demand the global health scientific community to respond ad hoc by organizing and making progress in identifying potential preventive countermeasures and promising therapeutics interventions. Both in the course of the response and during inter epidemic periods, comprehensive review and analysis of clinical research experience is to be produced that analyses scientific and ethical issues related to clinical design, conduct and reporting. Third, the number of clinical trials in low-income countries with weak medical infrastructure and poor access to health care has increased. Studies in these contexts have shown that potential trial participants decide to enroll prior to the informed consent process and are therefore largely independent of its content. This challenges the validity of the process and requires insights into what is at the basis of these decisions and how to improve ethical research in such settings.
This theme brings together projects that seek to address ethical challenges that arise when producing science in the age of rapid technological advancements, during times of emergency and/or among poor populations.
Theme II: Systemic Approaches Towards Sustainable Development Goals
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are aspirational goals expanding and building on the considerable achievements of the millennium development goals, that at the same time incorporate new challenges and the involvement of all countries. One of the health targets linked to SDG 3 focuses on ending the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases epidemics as well as combating hepatitis, water-borne diseases and other communicable diseases by 2030. More efficient approaches are needed to advance in reducing the burden of disease and mortality rates of most vulnerable populations in resource-limited settings. In low- and middle-income countries, infectious diseases co-exist with an increasing burden of non-communicable diseases challenging health systems, which are already too weak and underdeveloped to give the adequate response. These weaknesses include, but are not limited to laboratory services, finances, and health management information systems (HMIS). Furthermore, ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. As of late, Health-in-All policies – taking an inter-sectorial and society-wide approach – is increasingly seen as a promising mechanism to tackle health determinants and inequities in a systemic way. Evidence-informed Health-in-All policies ideally rely on improved knowledge on the intersectionality of exclusion and the resulting inequities.
This theme invites proposals that take a transdisciplinary effort to fill the knowledge gaps on the mechanisms of persisting inequities and realizing disease elimination promises
Theme III: Urbanisation, Migration, and Environmental Impacts on Health in a Globalised World
The rising levels of urbanisation and migration/population movements has been unprecedented in the last few decades and has been associated with increasing levels of chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases and their risk factors, e.g. hypertension, diabetes and obesity, in both urban population in high, low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and migrant populations coming from LMICs. This is profoundly shaping diseases patterns across the globe with many countries in both LMICs and high-income countries facing numerous challenges in meeting the health needs of these populations. Furthermore, environmental exposures such as air and water pollution, noise, temperature and green space, have been associated with adverse health effects including increased morbidity and premature mortality, UV and green space with both positive and negative health effects and physical activity with many health benefits. In many cities there is still scope for further improvement in environmental quality through targeted policies.
This theme invites proposals on innovative ways of identifying and addressing relevant factors that are impacting health of populations at global level that will inform targeted interventions and prevention programmes, and provide the basis for improving diagnosis and treatment of health problems affecting these populations.
Click HERE for an overview of the projects per theme