LERU & EGHRIN Global Health Town Hall Meeting

On the 13th and 14th of June 2022, the League of European Research Universities (LERU) and the European Global Health Research Institutes Network (EGHRIN) organised, together with Universitat Barcelona, a Town Hall meeting in Barcelona on global health. The meeting was entitled “Healthy people, healthy societies: an integrated approach”, and emphasised the crucial importance of research in addressing global health challenges. The outcomes will form an important contribution to the new EU Global Health Strategy, announced in May 2022. AIGHD plays an important role in this meeting as the secretariat of EGHRIN. By accelerating theory into practice, EGHRIN advocates putting global health on the agenda and in the forefront of our minds.

The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to a renewed focus on Global Health. It is clear that the pandemic has had a global impact on non-health related sectors such as the economy, global trade, and political stability. Therefore, it was important that the approach for this Global Health Meeting was one that would cover various scientific disciplines and bring a truly interdisciplinary approach.

During this two-day meeting, four key themes were discussed: (1) healthy and sustainable societies, (2) equitable access to health, (3) health communication and miscommunication, and (4) information technologies for health.

The keynote speakers were Dr John Grove and Dr Tamás Evetovits (World Health Organization), Prof. Shabbar Jaffar (University College London), Xavier Prats Monné (Institute Jacques Delors), Prof. Marc Van Ranst (KU Leuven) and Ana Fernández del Rio (benshi.ai). Following each keynote speech, researchers with diverse scientific backgrounds addressed the key issues and research gaps during panel debates and breakout sessions.

LERU and EGHRIN will utilize these inputs to identify the key research activities needed to promote global health. The goal is to persuade the European Union to invest more in global health, while also pushing for greater interdisciplinary collaboration among European universities and research institutions.

We would like to thank all speakers, panel members, participants and Universitat Barcelona for making this a fantastic event.