Eastern Europe/Central Asia Regional Summer School of Global Health

Major political, economic and social developments at the end of the 20th century resulted in significant restructuring of political borders in parts of Europe and Asia. After dissolution of the Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia more than 20 new sovereign states with the total population of over 300 million emerged on the vast territory from the Balkans to the Caucasus and Central Asia. During the last 30 years, this cluster of countries, often referred to as "Eastern Europe/Central Asia" (EE/CA), have witnessed the unprecedented acceleration of globalisation and experienced all its positive and negative effects, including those that affected the population's health.

In addition to the effects of globalisation, transformations in these countries have been also affected by region-specific developments, which further influenced the population's health. Development of regional trade agreements, scale-up regional transportation networks, free movement of people and goods across countries within the region, forced migration due to regional military conflicts and humanitarian catastrophes, regional defence initiatives, common environment and climate issues and other processes create health-related risk-factors specific to this region, which require regional cooperation and joint planning of actions.

In this context, important role of global health, as the newly emerging and rapidly growing area of practice, which sets a frame for conceptual, technical and operational understanding of how countries and key health stakeholders can best preserve human health in the globalised world, can not be overstated in this region.

Effective international cooperation on health requires the possession of robust knowledge of the current and emerging health issues and good understanding of health cooperation mechanisms among countries. To the growing need for building professional capacity in these areas in countries around the world, the academic community responded by rapid scale-up of training programs on global health. Most of these programs have been established at universities in the developed countries of North America, Western Europe, Japan and Australia. More recently, the trend of establishing such programs has been also noticeable in low-income countries of Africa and Asia - often through the development assistance provided by high-income countries. However, the middle-income countries of Eastern Europe/Central Asia, have neither been investing themselves, nor have been receiving external support for developing global health academic programs. Subsequently, in this region of over 20 countries and 300+ million population, currently there is not a single university that offers a professional degree in global health.

The EE/CA Regional School of Global Health is an attempt to partly fill this gap. The Summer School, taught by internationally renowned faculty, will be offered annually. This will be an intensive, non-degree short course, which will attract regional participants from the government, non-government and academic sectors. The Institute of Global Health has been working with leading universities in Europe and North America on preparing the course curriculum and is exploring the opportunities for joint delivery and certification of the Summer School. Please, monitor our web-site for further updates and announcements.