International Public Health and Health Systems

The Health Theme includes a mandate on research to serve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) under the section titled: 'International cooperation'. To date, including the very successful special Call on Africa, some 35 research projects are currently supported or under negotiation in this area through 'specific international cooperation actions' (SICAs) corresponding to approximately EUR 97 million. This area is of particular relevance in the light of the European Commission Communication to enhance the EU's role in global health that was adopted in March 2010. The objective is to make Europe's contribution more effective so as to better accompany developing countries in getting back on track towards achieving health-related MDGs. Four approaches to improving global health were presented including improving coordination of EU research on global health and boosting access to new knowledge and treatments in developing countries. The Council, in its May 2010 Conclusions on the EU role in global health, called on the EU and Member States to promote effective and fair financing of research that benefits the health of all.

The objective of such actions in this domain is to support research in order to provide a scientific base for International Cooperation Partner Countries to improve their health service delivery, including aspects of accessibility, effectiveness, efficiency and quality of care and user friendliness. The mandate also covers public health concepts and interventions beyond health services through cross-sectorial and multidisciplinary research approaches. These actions on particular priorities, such as health systems, health policy, maternal and child care, reproductive health and neglected communicable diseases, aim to reinforce the research and cooperative capacities of candidate, neighbourhood, developing and emerging countries. Particular attention is paid to facilitating access to these actions for these countries, in particular developing countries. Note: research on neglected infectious diseases is taken up under the 2nd Activity, 'Translational research in major infectious diseases: to confront major threats to public health'.

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Impacts, challenges and limitations of EU-funded public health research - Priorities for future research
1. First Global Symposium on Health Systems Research (HSR) - Science to Accelerate Universal Health Coverage, Montreux Switzerland
2. EU High Level Conference on global health, Brussels Belgium
3. Health Services Research Conference, The Netherlands