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York’s success in assisting World Health Organization recognised

Posted on 23 November 2017

The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognised a University of York research centre for its outstanding commitment to promoting universal access to health.


The World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. (Credit: US Mission Geneva/Eric Bridiers)

York’s Department of History’s Centre for Global Health Histories will continue as a WHO Collaborating Centre for a further four years until 2021, it has been confirmed.

Since 2013 the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories, which is funded by the Wellcome Trust, has worked with the WHO on a workplan to expand the international Global Health Histories seminar series at the WHO’s Headquarters and Regional Offices around the world.

It has also produced five evidence-based multi-lingual policy and public engagement publications on Tuberculosis, Tropical Diseases, Universal Health Coverage, Leprosy, and Mental Health.

International repute

Professor Lawrence Black, Head of York’s Department of History, said: “This is fantastic news for the Department of History and the University of York. It is also testimony to the international repute and intellectual dynamism of all the historians working in the Centre for Global Health Histories.”

The Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories, Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya, said: "We have greatly enjoyed collaborating with colleagues at the WHO Regional Office for Europe in Copenhagen and the WHO Headquarters in Geneva, and are very grateful for the generous support received from across the WHO.

“We are also delighted with the shared view that the achievements and successes of the first four years have paved the way for WHO Collaborating Centre renewal and a further four years of joint action. We, at the University of York, remain deeply committed to assisting in the promotion of universal access to health, and especially efforts to serve those most in need."

Track record

Collaborating Centre status is awarded to selected centres and institutions which are established WHO collaborators and have a proven track record in assisting the WHO to implement its work and achieve its goals.

Over the last four years, working with the WHO on an independent basis, the Centre for Global Health Histories has assisted in knowledge generation, policy evaluation, public engagement and staff training.

Future plans involve research for policy, as well as assistance with recording the histories of WHO, its offices and departments.

Valuable contribution

York’s application for redesignation was supported by the WHO Regional Office for Europe, an organisation which the Centre for Global Health Histories works closely with.

In the letter of redesignation, Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, Regional Director of the WHO Regional Office for Europe, acknowledged the Collaborating Centre’s valuable contribution over the previous four-year period and looked forward to a continuing successful collaboration.

Benefits for the University of York from housing a WHO Collaborating Centre include increased visibility and recognition by national authorities and greater public attention. The formal agreement sustains the opportunities to exchange information and develop technical co-operation with other institutions at national and international levels.

Further information:

  • You can learn more about Biomedical and Health Research at the University of York here.

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