Global Health Interventions


1. Students at the end of the curricular unit should be able to:
2. Describe the history of global health interventions, their explicit and implicit motivations and their health, social, economic and environmental impact on low-income countries.
3. Identify the main technical and financial agencies involved in health at the international / global level (bi- and multilateral technical and financial agencies, NGOs, foundations / philanthropy).
4. Analyze in detail a global health intervention, its history, its health and societal impact where it is implemented and the factors that influenced it.
5. Describe at least three specific IGS and analyze their strengths and weaknesses.
6. Discuss the performance and impact of vertical international health programs.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Thierry Mertens


Weekly - 8

Total - 24

Teaching language



Not applicable


• ODM 2015:
• Hoffman S.J., Cole C.B., Mark Pearcey M. (2015), Mapping Global Health Architecture to Inform the Future, Research Paper, Centre on Global Health Security, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, London;
• Global Commission on the social determinants of health: Final report, 2008.
• ODS 2030:
• Dye C, Mertens T, Hirnschall G et al. WHO and the future of disease control programmes. Lancet 2013; Vol. 381, Issue 9864, pp. 413-418.
• Kaul I, Grunberg I, Stern MA, Editors. Global Public Goods. International Cooperation in the 21st century. OUP, 1999.
• Cavalli, Anna, Sory I. Bamba, Mamadou N. Traore, Marleen Boelaert, Youssouf Coulibaly, Katja Polman, Marjan Pirard, and Monique Van Dormael. “Interactions between Global Health Initiatives and Country Health Systems: The Case of a Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Program in Mali.” PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases 4, no. 8 (August 17, 2010). doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0000798.
• Easterly, William. The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good. Oxford: OUP Oxford, 2007.
• Moyo, Dambisa, and Niall Ferguson. Dead Aid: Why Aid Is Not Working and How There Is a Better Way for Africa. 1 Reprint edition. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010.
Recursos Humanos para Saúde
• Campbell J, Dussault G, Buchan J, Pozo-Martin F, Guerra Arias M, Leone C, et al. A universal truth: no health without a workforce. Forum report, third Global Forum on Human Resources for Health, Recife, Brazil. Geneva: Global Health Workforce Alliance and World Health Organization; 2013 (, accessed 13 February 2015).
• WHO. Global strategy on human resources for health: workforce 2030 [Internet]. Synthesis Paper of the Thematic Working Groups. Geneva, Switzerland; 2016. Available from:
• Scheffler RM, Campbell J, Cometto G, Maeda A, Liu J, Bruckner TA, Arnold DR, Evans T. Forecasting imbalances in the global health labor market and devising policy responses. Hum Resour Health. 2018 Jan 11;16(1):5.
• WHO Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel. WHA63.16. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2010 (
• WHO. WHO guideline on health policy and system support to optimize community health worker programmes.
• Cometto G, Ford N, Pfaffman-Zambruni J, Akl EA, Lehmann U, McPake B, et al. Health policy and system support to optimise community health worker programmes: an abridged WHO guideline. Lancet Glob Health. 2018 Dec;6(12).
• OECD. Ready to help? Improving resilience of integration systems for refugees and other vulnerable migrants. OECD Publishing, Paris 2019,
Impacto das iniciativas Saúde Global
• Biesma, RG, Brugha R, Harmer A, Walsh A, Spicer N, and Walt G. The Effects of Global Health Initiatives on Country Health Systems: A Review of the Evidence from HIV/AIDS Control. Health Policy and Planning 2009; 24: 239–52. doi:10.1093/healpol/czp025.
• Cailhol J, Craveiro I, Madede T et al. Analysis of human resources for health strategies and policies in 5 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, in response to GFATM and PEPFAR-funded HIV-activities. Globalization and Health 20139:52
• Craveiro I and Dussault G. The impact of global health initiatives on the health system in Angola. Global Public Health 2016.
• Gonçalves L et al. Urban Planning and Health Inequities: Looking in a Small-Scale in a City of Cape Verde. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142955.

Teaching method

T: Theoretical classes; TP: Theoretical-practical classes; OT: Tutorial guidance; O: Others and individual or collective work.

Evaluation method

Evaluation will include 50% participation and presentation in class and 50% presentation on subjects defined in the evaluation: essay on a topic addressed in class, presented and discussed orally.

Subject matter

Through participatory discussions and public presentations of personal work, develop critical comprehension, explanatory and implementation skills and competencies related to:
I. Providing a brief overview of Global Health Interventions since 1955 (Global Malaria Eradication - attempt), the MDGs, SDGs, the eradication of smallpox, attempts at polio and dracunculiasis (Guinea worm), the response to HIV, H1N1… The creation of GFATM, GAVI, and critically describing main characteristics of IGS with their strengths and weaknesses.
II. Notion of Public Goods and critical discussion for the prospects of change.
III. Making short presentations on “Roll-Back Malaria” from 199 until now; HIV Initiative - “3X5” from WHO in 2003; situation of GFATM in 2019; Ebola in Kivu 2019-2020; current situation of polio eradication and discussion.
IV. Migration, complex emergencies, human resources for health for discussion.
V. Evaluation.


Programs where the course is taught: