The Covid-19 pandemic has clearly illustrated the regional and global dimensions of human health. In an interconnected and globalised world, the droplets from a sneeze on one side of the earth can quickly be felt on the other, as disease and pathogens do not know, and certainly do not respect, borders of any kind. The Covid-19 pandemic has illustrated the need for synchronisation, coordination, and collaboration between the local, sub-national, national, supra-national (regional), and global levels of health governance and policymaking.

The Health Cluster investigates the roles that regions can play in maintaining and ensuring global health, including: regulating trans-border human mobility and goods flows, managing sanitary situations in border cities, securing cross-border flows of medicines, health appliances and services, coordinating the cross-border sharing of health infrastructures in crises, pooling financial resources for investments in priority research in health, exchanging best practices, synchronising policy-interventions, and addressing health situations of migrants and refugees.

Current streams of research within the Health Cluster include:

  • Regional health cooperation
  • Climate-Migration-Health nexus


Special Issue on Challenges and Opportunities for Regional Health Cooperation: Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic and Other Infectious Diseases

  • Editors: Philippe De Lombaerde and Doreen Montag, Journal of Health Policy and Planning

International Thematic Network on Climate-Migration-Health (CliMigHealth)

  • Coordinator: Ilse Ruyssen
  • Partner institutes: Ghent University, UNU-CRIS, Makerere University, University of Ghana, ICRAF, University of Zambia, University of Malawi, Stellenbosch University, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, EIEE, Aarhus University, University of G√∂ttingen, KIT Royal Tropical Institute, UNU-MERIT, UNU-EHS, UNU-INWEH, University of California, University of Queensland
  • Funding: Ghent University and partner institutes
    • 2020-2025

Completed Projects

PRARI: Poverty Reduction and Regional Integration: A Comparative Analysis of SADC and UNASUR Health Policies

  • Partners: Open University, UNU-CRIS, University of Southampton, FLACSO Argentina, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA)
  • Principal Investigator: Nicola Yeates
  • Funding: UK-ESRC, 2014-2015

Book project on Access to Medicines and Vaccines in the South: Coherence of Rules and Polices applied by the European Union Commission

  • Author: Stephen Kingah, Free University of Brussels Press, 2011.