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New partnership agreed with Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic

Posted on 7 March 2023

The University of York has signed an agreement with The Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic, establishing a long-term partnership highlighting the University’s commitment to global health research.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sets out the basis to form a closer working relationship between the University’s Centre of Health Economics, and the Executive Secretariat of The Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic (COMISCA).


COMISCA is the regional forum that convenes the Ministries of Health of the eight countries in the region: Belize, Costa Rica, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, which was formed to identify and prioritise regional health issues.

The COMISCA Executive Secretariat (SE-COMISCA) is the governing body which ensures the implementation of the five-year Health Plan of Central America and the Dominican Republic, by coordinating regional health activities year round and meeting with regional health officials.

Agreement signing 

The MoU was signed at an event at the University of York, attended by representatives from both institutions, including Dr. Alejandra Acuña Navarro, Executive Secretary of SE- COMISCAKaren Rowlingson, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, and Rodrigo Moreno-Serra, from the Centre for Health Economics.

Dr Acuña Navarro, the Executive Secretary of SE- COMISCA, said: “Health economics shows the importance of measuring the economic factors that impact health. This Memorandum of Understanding with the University of York is strategic for SE-COMISCA, since it allows compliance with binding agreements of the Council of Ministers of Health of Central America and the Dominican Republic, and aims to strengthen the capacities of health systems in the field of health economics”.


Professor Karen Rowlingson, Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, said: “This partnership will help build capacity and deliver action-oriented research which will ultimately improve levels of health and wellbeing in Central America. “Our Centre for Health Economics, in collaboration with other departments, has a long track-record of both designing and evaluating policy in the field of health and specifically health economics. “Building on this expertise, our close partnership with SE-COMISCA will lead to real-world impact, helping to bring to life the University of York's mission to be a University for public good.”

Positive difference

Rodrigo Moreno-Serra, Centre for Health Economics at the University of York, said: “We have a wide breadth of expertise in the field of global health economics through research conducted by the Centre for Health Economics in partnership with academics and policymakers in the Global South and the UK. 

“The prospect of establishing a longer-term partnership between York and SE-COMISCA, to work alongside key regional decision-makers in Central America, aligns fully with our goal of engaging with local stakeholders to deliver research and capability building initiatives that are responsive to policy needs, with the aim of making a positive difference to society in that part of the world as well.”