Studying the history of the world’s health

The University of York’s Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH) in the Department of History is designated as the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories.

WHO HQ, Geneva. Credit: Thorkild Tylleskar (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The designation recognises the Centre’s proven track record in assisting the WHO to access world class research that helps identify governance challenges in diverse locales, implement and evaluate its work around the globe, and develop effective schemes for policy advocacy and public engagement in multiple languages.

CGHH focuses on organising seminars and training workshops, knowledge generation for informing and training government officials, and assessing societal and administrative responses to policy protocols, working with the WHO Headquarters and select WHO Regional and Country Offices on an independent basis.

The Wellcome Trust has given generous support to all these initiatives, including a major Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award that is also funding cutting edge research into the history and contemporary workings of primary health care ideologies and projects around the world. These joint activities are at the heart of the WHO’s efforts to better understand the best means of working with diverse political and social actors in the provision of universal health coverage and promoting health equity.

The Department of History and the Centre for Global Health Histories at York support the WHO Global Health Histories project’s mission, which is based on the principle that understanding the history of health, especially during the last 60 years, helps the global public health community to respond to the challenges of today and help shape a healthier future for everyone, especially those most in need.

The Centre for Global Health Histories is a member of the University’s Humanities Research Centre contributing to its mission to foster inter-disciplinary research locally, nationally and internationally. It is funded by the University and the Wellcome Trust.

The Director of CGHH, Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya, is Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories, and his team have worked with the World Health Organization since 2010 to create long-lasting links between international health and development agencies, Non Government Organizations, Think Tanks, and academic bodies across the globe.

CGHH launched the WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Health Histories publication Health for All: The Journey to Universal Health Coverage, which is published in English and Portuguese, at a World Health Assembly-related event supported by the Sri Lankan and Brazilian federal governments in May 2015. Prepared in partnership with Fiocruz in Brazil on open access basis, this publication is available for free download through the York Digital Library and features chapters based on WHO Global Health Histories seminars organised in 2013 and 2014.

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Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya

Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya

Specialising in the medical, environmental, political and social history of nineteenth and twentieth century South Asia.

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