27 May, 2020.

Twenty-two leading European universities and other research institutes are joining forces to address the major health threats the world is facing, such as new pandemics, effects of climate change, chronic illnesses and diseases of poverty. These health threats are global problems that require global solutions with multiple dimensions: medical, social, economic, legal, and technological. The new European Global Health Research Institutes Network (EGHRIN) will bring together the best scientists in these fields to better understand global health threats and develop new ways to fight and prevent them throughout the world.

EGHRIN will work closely with researchers from around the globe, including low-income countries. Antoni Plasència (University of Barcelona) remarked the following in regard to international collaboration for combatting health crises: The COVID-19 pandemic has shown how important it is that scientific research takes a global view: what happens in Asia today can cause health shocks in Europe tomorrow, and the other way around. Fighting the pandemic is a global fight. The same is true for the health consequences of climate change and how to tackle them.

The key approach of EGHRIN is to pull forces from various scientific disciplines and across societal sectors.

Till Bärnighausen (HIGH, Heidelberg University): For too long scientists have been working in the silos of their academic disciplines. If we want to tackle the world’s most challenging health threats and disease burdens, such as antimicrobial resistance and the pre-mature mortality from diabetes and heart disease,  researchers must work across scientific disciplines such as medicine, social anthropology and economics. Only if we bring those silos down we can discover solutions and design novel interventions that really improve health at the global scale.  

EGHRIN will strongly push for making research by European universities directly relevant for health care and health policy. Mario Raviglione (University of Milan):  To identify and implement solutions for the global health challenges in this new millennium, we need sustainable, long-term research efforts based on a multidisciplinary, cross-sectorial approach as we have learned in the current pandemic. To provide the best evidence behind sound policies, one cannot do it alone: a network of the best European researchers joining forces with the EC and policy making agencies such as WHO is a must.

About the European Global Health Research Institutes Network Association (EGHRIN)

EGHRIN has been established as an association of leading European research institutions. It serves as a prominent advocate for the EU and its research institutes to step up and become a world leader in Global Health research and innovation. EGHRIN promotes direct communication and discussions on Global Health matters with policy makers, and publishes it views through carefully considered publications on fundamental issues affecting Global Health. To date, EGHRIN unites 23 full and associated members that align their efforts with the aim to achieve more impact in the field of Global Health.

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