Canada's Global Health InitiativesThis article details a few examples of Canada‘s global health initiatives.

Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research

Founded in 2001, the Canadian Coalition for Global Health Research describes itself as a “not-for-profit organization promoting better and more equitable health worldwide through the production and use of knowledge.” The coalition started as an informal network and has since transformed into an important tool in Canada’s health research.

The coalition’s main purpose is to bring together groups of people to communicate and take action regarding global health issues. Members of the coalition include global health researchers, organizations that have an interest in funding global health research, and members of the general public who share the passion of fighting to improve health worldwide. Research challenges are then analyzed within low and middle-income countries.

University of British Columbia

Located in Vancouver, the University of British Columbia has focused on a neglected global diseases initiative. Neglected global diseases are illnesses that are disproportionately present in the world’s poorest areas, including malaria, HIV/AIDS, conditions affecting maternal and child health and various tropical diseases. These illnesses can be classified under this category because they are able to thrive in places that generally have unreliable water supplies, poor sanitation and inadequate access to healthcare facilities.

The university’s initiative is to build a network between the fields of biology, pharmacology, business, social policy, economics and law. These fields are important because together, they are able to examine the underlying causes and social climates that generate poverty and furthermore trigger neglected global diseases. With these social factors in mind, Canada’s global health initiatives and research can become more targeted and efficient. This interdisciplinary approach is highly innovative at a time when social determinants are becoming increasingly intertwined with global health.

G7 Health Commitments

This September, representatives attended the G7 Health Minister’s Meeting in Kobe, Japan. The purpose of this meeting was to bring together health leaders of G7 nations and organizations to discuss how to advance progress regarding global health, particularly regarding the subjects of combating antimicrobial resistance and achieving universal health care coverage.

Leaders were able to reiterate elements of Canada’s health research actions, namely strengthening emergency responses to health crises and addressing the challenge of antimicrobial resistance. The meeting also provided Canadian leaders with the chance to hold additional meetings with health leaders from Japan, France, Germany and the United Kingdom in order to exchange experiences and organize future collaboration in the fight against global health issues.

Overall, one can see that Canada’s health research and commitments are both diverse and robust. The nation has focused itself on working to improve established health concerns as well as creating new strategies to combat them. All of the examples above involve cooperation between different organizations and nations, which is certainly a key factor for being successful in the fight against global health concerns.

Nathaniel Siegel

Photo: Flickr