We live in a global world where cross-border health problems are receiving increasing attention. Infectious disease, water and sanitation, maternal, infant and reproductive health, and environmental determinants of health and climate change are some of the key challenges in this area.
The Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) was launched in 2010 to address the challenges of global health from a multidisciplinary approach. For this daunting task, it enlisted the help of its current research centre, CRESIB (the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research), which had been created four years earlier. Now, in what is an increasingly competitive environment, ISGlobal and CRESIB have joined forces with CREAL, the Barcelona-based Centre for Research in Environmental Epidemiology to forge a strategic alliance and create a localised critical mass of research expertise that will serve to provide global leadership in research, innovation and training in global health.
The alliance is to be created as part of the SUMA project recently launched by the Catalan Government, the Generalitat, to build critical mass and excellence within the Catalan network of research centres, CERCA. Following favorable review of the proposal by the Generalitat, the next stage is to prepare the executive project for the alliance. With this objective, the three centers met for their first day of joint meetings on October 3.
It is hoped that the proposal will receive final approval from the Generalitat by the end of the year, paving the way for the launching of the alliance, whose work will be structured around four pillars of activity:
1) the creation of a cohesive, efficient and sustainable organisational model
2) the design of a joint research programme on infectious and non-communicable chronic diseases and their environmental determinants;
3) the strengthening of the transfer of knowledge to inform innovative public health policies and interventions and of the capacity to shape the international global health agenda; and
4) the expansion of postgraduate courses offering quality, ongoing training in global and environmental health.