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The Global Health Centre (Centro di Salute Globale - GHC), a founding component of the new MACH (MultidisciplinAry ResearCh in Health Science) of the University of Milan established with the support of the Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, is the first of its kind in Italy as it merges didactics and research towards “ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all at all ages” (the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 3 target).
It aims at becoming a comprehensive and impactful contributor to the global health discussion internationally. The broad vision of the GHC is that of addressing health inequities and improving access to “health for all” through didactic and research activities conducted in partnership with experts from other national and international centres and institutes sharing similar principles and aims in global health.
GHC’s ultimate goal is to contribute to the development and implementation across disciplines, in full alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), of sound health policies and practices that ensure universal access to care and prevention for the most vulnerable people in Italy and the world. To achieve this, multidisciplinary research and education engaging young generations of students that will become future leaders and decision-makers are essential. The GHC has therefore four essential functions: (1) Training and Education: to create a cadre of future passionate global health leaders capable of being “global health-sensitive” among committed students from different backgrounds, including biomedical sciences, economics, law, international relations, sociology, ecology, agronomy and all other related fields. As part of this programme, at UniMI teaching on the essentials of global health is now integrated as a module into the regular medical student curriculum – a unique situation in Europe – and a new 1-year post-graduate Master Specialty Course in Global Health in collaboration with experts from prestigious academic institutions nationally and abroad; (2) Research: to contribute to identification of innovative ways of handling complex public health problems; (3) Health Policy: to focus on evidence generation that influences policy making by health authorities; and (4) Health Promotion and Advocacy: to pursue public awareness and understanding of global health values and healthy behaviours among students and civil society.
Teaching global health
The GHC staff has introduced teaching in global health for students at University of Milan. First, an under-graduate module has been integrated into the regular medical student curriculum and, second, the Master Course in Global Health has been established for those who want to pursue a career in global health. Both are coordinated by Prof. Raviglione and his team. The under-graduate teaching – the first of its kind and an innovation in Europe – consists of a module focused on the essential knowledge of the big themes within global health as part of the mandatory courses of Public Health and Introduction to Medicine. The Master Course in Global Health (MGH), coordinated by Prof. Gori and Prof. Raviglione and organized at MACH with the support of Intesa San Paolo, is a professional, specialty master of 1-year duration and is offered by the University of Milan in close collaboration with experts from major institutions worldwide, including University of Geneva, Karolinska Instituten, Columbia University, Graduate Institute Geneva, World Health Organization and others. The master course aims to deepen knowledge and study contemporary global health issues from an interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial perspective. The MGH, conducted in English language, is open to post-graduate students from Italy and abroad coming from a variety of different backgrounds: from health and biomedical sciences to economics, sociology, anthropology, international relations, law, ecology, agronomy, diplomacy, political sciences, management etc. The MGH mission is to provide students the toolbox to understand and analyse health issues with a focus on both their broader determinants and direct causes, while looking for innovative solutions that transcend sectors. The Master aims to prepare students and future leaders to work in different settings that include the public sector at national (e.g. ministries of health, foreign affairs, development cooperation, etc.) or local level (e.g. regional or district public health authorities), international organizations, nongovernmental and faith-based organizations active in health and development, public private partnerships, and the private sector engaged in health.
Global health research
Global health research is a programme that explores innovative ways of handling complex public health problems, embracing innovations in technology and epidemiological understanding, and exploring implementation challenges. The programme works with experts from partner institutions in Italy and world-wide and focuses on priority conditions in infectious diseases and beyond, determinants of health, and innovations in delivery of care and prevention.
GHC priorities in global health research include: