02 February 2009

New school for global health

Health and disease in developing countries will now be an area of concentration for the University of Copenhagen. In recognition of constantly changing global health priorities, the university has established the inter-disciplinary Copenhagen School of Global Health (CSGH), set to open on 2 February 2009.

Pooling resources

CSGH is an umbrella organisation for several faculties that can collect, co-ordinate and strengthen the global perspective in Danish health competencies, for example in the areas of malaria, HIV and when it comes to growing global problems with lifestyle and infectious disease.

Over 700 students from the University of Copenhagen complete one or more courses each year related to global health, with 50 students every year taking up international internships with global health organisations.

The school will be an important doorway for health sciences, pharmaceutical science, social sciences (including anthropology and political science) and the area of life sciences that deals with global health. Yearly external contributions for the activities of CSGH will amount to DKK 75 million from both national and international contributors.

Improved world health

Professor Flemming Konradsen, who will be heading CSGH, stresses that doctors and nurses need to work together with other professions to create better world health.

'Health has to be seen in a broader perspective than just people in white coats,' Konradsen says. 'It involves creating strong health systems, good water and sanitary conditions, family planning, good diet, work safety and even traffic safety.'

CSGH will also counsel students from Denmark and abroad interested in taking one of the university's numerous courses and programmes related to global health. The university will seek to increase the number of courses and programmes in order to improve student's chances of getting internships with international organisations.

'CSGH will provide students with better opportunities to travel and use their knowledge in practical settings,' Konradsen says. 'We have too few exchanges at present. This is something CSGH will be involved in changing.'