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WHO Global Health Histories Seminars

The World Health Organization’s Global Health Histories project, established within the WHO headquarters and regional offices in 2004, is linked to the Centre for Global Health Histories. The annual WHO Global Health Histories seminar series, which forms an important part of the project, is co-hosted at the WHO Regional Office for Europe and elsewhere by the Division of Information, Evidence, Research & Innovation (DIR) at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the University of York.

For details about upcoming seminars please see our Events Page.

See below for the Recordings Archive.

Global Health Histories Posters

Since it was launched in late 2004, the enduring mission of the Global Health Histories seminar series (GHH) has been based on the idea that understanding the history of health, especially during the last 60 years, can help the global public health community respond to present-day challenges. It was envisaged as a way of bringing together academics, policymakers, public health professionals and members of the public from all over the world to foster useful discussions on topical global health issues, and create opportunities for historians and policy makers to connect with and learn from each other. 

The Global Health Histories seminar series is a collaboration between the Division of Information, Evidence, Research & Innovation (DIR) at the World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe and the Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH), which is part of the Department of History and a constituent member of Humanities Research Centre at the University of York, generously funded by the Wellcome Trust.

History of the Series

Global Health Histories has now celebrated its 100th seminar! You can read a detailed report on the birth, growth and widening internationalisation of Global Health Histories via our news page.

Detailed news items on earlier series' are also avalable. Read more about the 2013 series and the topics covered in the article "Global Health Histories Seminars: 2013’s Topics Unveiled". You can also read Mr Thomson Prentice's articles on the history of the GHH Seminar series in Wellcome History magazine, Issue number 37 (pp 9), Issue number 41 (pp 14-16) and Issue number 43 (pp 18-20).

Recordings Archive

A Note Regarding Content

Recordings are presented in .wmv format (audio plus slides), except where indicated.

We apologize for the sound quality in some of these recordings. The 2009 Global Health Histories Seminars were recorded as they were transmitted live over the internet through a trial of the webinar system.




16/01/2020 GHH Seminar 139: Children and Research
31/10/2020 GHH Seminar 140: Decolonizing Global health - Theories, Methods, Language
31/10/2020 GHH Seminar 141: Global Health Futures

GHH Seminar 142: Complementary and Alternative Medicines in the 'Biomedical world'


GHH Seminar 143: Mental Health and Inequalities


GHH Seminar 144: COVID 19: Inter-disciplinary approaches


GHH Seminar 145: Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) and Technological Challenges


GHH Seminar 146: Health Diplomacy: The bases for international health


GHH Seminar 147: A puff of smoke: what next for tobacco control?


GHH Seminar 148: Can malaria be eradicated? The future of malaria control


GHH Seminar 149: Women in the History of Tropical Medicine


GHH Seminar 150: History of Malaria elimination in Sri Lanka


GHH Seminar 151: Antimicrobial Resistance - global policy, clinical practice, and public responses





WHO Public Information in Historical Perspective (no recording available)

30/1 Antimicrobial Resistance
5/3 Global Historical Milestones in PHC Implementation & CHWs
5/3 Global Historical Milestones in Infectious Disease Control using the Expanded Programme of Immunization
6/3 Air Pollution: Local contexts, universal effects
14/3 History, Culture and Global Health Sustainability
28/3 The Creation and Expansion of the Worldwide Smallpox Eradication Programme
2/4 Waste & Wellbeing: Cultural Waste Disposal Practices and Health
7/4 Health in Emergencies
4/6 Cycle Helmet Debates
10/6 The Political Economy of Health Financing Reforms
18/6 History of Health for All Stuggles in India

Health and Disease Across Cultural and Disciplinary Boundaries


Cultural Mediators in Refugee and Migrant Healthcare


Mental Health 


‘Man Up’: Masculinities and mental health help-seeking behaviours


The Health Challenges of Social Marginalisation


Private Sector Engagement in the Health Sector in India

22/10 Anti-microbial Resistance in South Asia: Challenges and Possibilities

Smallpox Eradication 40 years on


Date  Title

United Nations, Helath System and UHC: histories, present and future (no recording available)


Tobacco Control - Histories and Current Global Challenges

8/5 Cultural Contexts of Health and Wellbeing: Can Art Save Lives?
18/5 Strategies of Anti-Panic: A New Approach to Epidemic Panic (no recording available)
3/7 Vaccine Hesitancy - Why Do Some People Not Vaccinate?
5/7 Tuberculosis, Infectious Disease Control, and Primary Health Care
14/9 Health Communication
25/9 Polio, Immunization and UHC
8/10 Zika
17/10 Faith In Universal Health Coverage
24/10 Immunization for Universal Health Coverage
5/11 Community Health Workers (no recording available)

Please note, clicking the video links for these seminars will re-direct you to YouTube.





The Sri Lankan path to Universal Health Care & its implications for the SDGs (no recording available)

6/5 Leprosy
25/8 Food and Nutrition
7/10 Environment and Health

"Aedes aegypti": Old and New Sanitary Emergencies


Date  Title

'A world that counts', contexts for health: information for health

7/9 Strengthening Universal Health Coverage for the fight against anti-microbial resistance

Please note, clicking the video links for these seminars will re-direct you to YouTube.



Banner with full event listing

17/11  Obesity and Public Health (EventPoster.pdf) Audio available via WHO GHH website (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
13/10  Tobacco Control From a National to an International Issue (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation)
23/06  Ageing and Quality of Life in the Older People Today (EventPoster.pdf) Audio available via WHO GHH website (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
12/05  Haemorrhagic Fevers The Deepest Fears (EventPoster.pdf) Audio available via WHO GHH website (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
24/03  Climate Change and Health: the Evidence (EventPoster.pdf) Audio available via WHO GHH website (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)

SARS: Learning from an Epidemic of Fear* (eventposter.PDF) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)


The 2009 pandemic influenza and worst-case scenarios* (eventposter.PDF) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)


Diabetes: A disease of modern technology?* (eventposter.PDF) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)


Mental health and WHO* (eventposter.PDF) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)


Plague* (eventposter.PDF) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)

*No audio available

Please note clicking the links for 2010's seminars will re-direct you to the WHO's website.


Banner with full event listing

Date  Title
07/12 Torture, Health and Human Rights (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation)
30/11 Environmental Law (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)

The Politics of Asbestos: Understandings of Risk, Disease and Protest* (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)


Environmental health in Brazil, Russia, India and China (Presentation 1)

28/09 Food Security - Securing Food Supplies Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (EventPoster.pdf)  (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
24/06 Global and National Progress in Reproductive Rights for Women since 1950 (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation 1)
15/06 Child Immunization Achievements and Challenges (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
11/05 Socio-economic Inequalities in Access to Maternal Health Services in India (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
27/04 Mobilizing Communities for Sexual, Reproductive and Maternal Health Promotion (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
23/03 Tobacco Control (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)
08/03 Health and Care in Pregnancy and Beyond: Putting Women Centre Stage (EventPoster.pdf) (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)


Infant growth and nutrition*  (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)

Please note clicking the links for 2011's seminars will re-direct you to the WHO's website.

*No recording available



Banner with full event listing

4/12 Antiretroviral therapy in Zambia: the meaning of ARVs (no recording available)
20/11 The rise of the global health consultant: Brian Abel-Smith (no recording available)
02/10 The Fruits of a New Internationalism? South Asian Governments, the WHO & Global Smallpox Eradication (EventPoster.pdf)
18/09 Professionalism and prestige: a British perspective on international nursing organization in the 20th century * (EventPoster.pdf)
17/07 Towards a History of Psychotherapy * (EventPoster.pdf)
03/07 In Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Psychology, Psychoanalysis and Politics 1940-1950 * (EventPoster.pdf)
12/06 Cold War politics and the Rockefeller Foundation (no recording available)
29/05 Marcel Proust and the global history of asthma * (EventPoster.pdf)
17/04 Legacies of climate change and land use in West Africa (no recording available)
17/03 UNRRA and the 'world task in public health' after the Second World War * (EventPoster.pdf)

* Audio only (.mp3). Please note clicking the links will re-direct you to the WHO's website.


Banner with full event listing

04/11 Tropical Disease Vectors: Identification and control "How malaria became a vector borne disease" (EventPoster.pdf)
21/10 Kala Aza: Can visceral leishmaniasis ever be controlled? (EventPoster.pdf)
07/10 100 Years of Chagas Disease: A Continuing Public Health Challenge (EventPoster.pdf)
23/09 Malaria Treatment and Control: A Cultural History of Institutions, Methods, and Metaphors (EventPoster.pdf)
13/05 River Blindness – the keys to control (EventPoster.pdf)
05/05 Sleeping Sickness - the controversy continues (EventPoster.pdf)
21/04 End of the ancient dragon? Eradicating guinea worm disease (EventPoster.pdf)
08/04 Leprosy: Why is elimination so elusive? * (EventPoster.pdf)
02/12 Pharmaceuticals, vaccines and tropical diseases (no recording available)

* Audio only (.mp3) Please note clicking the links will re-direct you to the WHO's website.

2005 to 07


29/01 The Role of WHO in the History of Global Health* (Presentation 1) (Presentation 2)

Going global: Uruguay, child well-being and international health, 1890-1940* (Presentation)


Cholera in Egypt and the origins of WHO*(Presentation)

* No audio available or video available



From medical geography to the geography of health*


Contemporary approaches to the construction of knowledge in public health: the social construction of the concept of "jungle yellow fever" - a case study*


Health and Social Change. How comparing South Africa, Russia and 19th century Sweden gives clues on human resources for health today* (Presentation)


Visual Media in the Pursuit of World Health


Mission Impossible? WHO's Third Decade (1968 - 77) Efforts to Make Health an Integral Part of National Socio-Economic Development*


Vikings Against Tuberculosis. The International Tuberculosis Campaign in India 1948-51* (Presentation)


The WHO Response To The HIV/AIDS Pandemic* (Presentation)


International Public Health Before the WHO*


The Rise and Fall of Health Systems Research: Lessons from the 1970s* (Paper)


Is the World Health Organization on the right course?* (Paper) (Presentation)

* No audio or video available



Primary Health Care: Not the best of beginnings?* (Paper)


African Health History: PHC, women’s health and the gender trap* (Presentation)


Primary Health Care in the 21st century: Which way forward?* 


Darwinian Medicine: How evolutionary biology can improve public health* (Presentation)


Public health posters: past and present* (Presentation)

* No audio or video available