A comparison of the Aral Sea in 1989 (left) and 2014 (right). Photo: NASA

The vanishing Aral Sea: health consequences of an environmental disaster

Access to safe water and food is linked to global, regional and local climate changes. In some areas swift changes have entailed serious health-related consequences. An alarming example is found in the Aral Sea area of Central Asia.

“Tidsskrift for den norske legeforening”, the journal for the Norwegian Medical Association, has published an article by Turid Austin Wæhler from Centre for Arctic and Global Health, University of Tromsø, the Arctic University, and Erik Sveberg Diestrichs, Department of Clinical Pharmacology, at the University Hospital of North Norway.

Read the article here.

– Will help Russians achieve better health

Turid Austin Wæhler, advisor at Centre for Arctic and Global Health, University of Tromsoe, is interviewed in the High North News in relation to their project “Improving of public health in Arkhangelsk”. The project is a cooperation between the University of Tromsø, Arkhangelsk Regional Center of Medical Prevention, RASSVET, Arkhangelsk Society for Prevention of Diseases and the Northern State Medical University, and is fully funded by the Barents Secretariat.

Read the interview here.

“Informasjon om helse, helserettigheter og helsetjenester til beboere i ankomstsenter og transittmottak”

Folkehelseinstituttet har gitt ut rapporten Informasjon om helse, helserettigheter og helsetjenester til beboere i ankomstsenter og transittmottak

Beboere i ankomstsenteret og transittmottak får mye informasjon, men lite generell informasjon om helse, helserettigheter og helsetjenestene. Informasjon er tilgjengelig for dem som oppsøker den, men det er behov for mer systematisk formidling av helseinformasjon, til alle beboere.

Les hele rapporten 


Network for social science in Norwegian global health

Invitation to join! 

The intersection between social science and medical approaches is at the core of global health research. There are many researchers within the social sciences and humanities based in Norway who share an interest in global health, but we are spread across many disciplines and institutions. You are therefore invited to join a new network for social sciences within Norwegian global health research, administered by the Global Health Politics and Culture research group at the Centre for Development and the Environment (UiO), on behalf of the Norwegian Forum for Global Health Research.

The network will be an arena for information about new research projects and publications, seminars, conferences and funding calls, as well as discussion of methodological, ethical or other research-related issues. This will initially be a virtual network, operating primarily through an email list, but we can also plan network meetings at Globvac conferences or other relevant venues.

This network is open to anyone working in Norway who has an interest in how social scientific, historical and political perspectives can advance understandings of global health – not just social scientists.

I hope you would like to join! Please register your interest to join by filling this online form, stating your name, position/affiliation, discipline and thematic research interests.

Feel free to share this invite with your colleagues!

Contact person:
Katerini Storeng, Associate Professor
Centre for Development and Environment, UiO

Norwegian Forums 10th Anniversary Seminar

At the Norwegian Forum for Global Health Research Forum’s 10 Anniversary Seminar 12-13 January 2017 the conclusion was that it takes time to build relations and networks – and that after 10 years, Forum’s Global Health Research activities are becoming firmly established.

Highlights of Forum activity:

  • conferences involving Forum researchers are now held annually (every second year with GLOBVAC)
  • a national Researcher School in Global Health has been established
  • the Forum suggestion of formally establishing an infrastructure for its activity has resulted in the establishment of a Norwegian Institute of Global Health (NIGH).

Forum has prepared a 10-year report of its activities: Please see here.

The Researcher School in Global Health will facilitate between PhD candidates in Global Health across Norway by making it easier for them to visit one another and cooperate on projects. All PhD candidates enrolled in Global Health at a Norwegian institution of higher education are welcome to become members. Membership will enable them to be eligible for travel grants to attend courses in global health subjects taught at institutions across Norway. The School’s first annual PhD conference will be held in conjunction with the GLOBVAC conference next spring, 14-15 March, 2017 in Oslo.

Links relating to NIGH

Research Seminar on Migration and Health

The theme for the 10th Anniversary’s Research Seminar was Migration and Health. Many of the speakers highlighted that not only is migrant health becoming increasingly relevant for Norway and other European countries, migrant health is part of global health.

The talks reflected various complementary perspectives:

  • The scope of Migration health in Norway, by Bernadette Kumar, NAKMI and Centre for Global Health UiO
  • Migration and health, historical perspective by Harald Siem, Norwegian Institute of Public Health and NAKMI
  • Rights to access National Health Services for refugees and asylum seekers- Government guidelines, by Gro Saltnes Lopez, Department for Minority Health and Rehabilitation, Health Directorate
  • Migrants health perspective from general practice in Norway, by Esperanza Diaz, Department of Global Public Health and Primary Care, UiB
  • Irregular migrant’s ‘precarious inclusion’ in European health care regimes, by Christine M. Jacobsen, The Centre for Women’s and Gender Research (SKOK), UiB


At the Anniversary Dinner, Bente Moen, Forum Chair, gave out a number of prizes:

  • Recognising service to Forum and Global Health: Rune Nilsen, Gunnar Kvale
  • Winners of Essay Contest about a Global Health Issue:

“Seks helsetiltak for flyktningene” by Esperanza Diaz is awarded 10 000 NOK for best essay across categories. The essay fulfils the criteria in the announcement and is placed in the category for «Refugees – migration”. It conveys the message of shortcomings and need for improvement in the Norwegian health system and points to important issues that actually could be easily solved by reducing bureaucracy and simplify administrative routines. The essay is nicely structured and easily accessible.

«Ta de nye hjelpeorganisasjonen på alvor» by Haavik & Kitching, is awarded 5000 NOK in the category «Refugees – migration”. The motivation was that the essay is based on facts through research and shows how small organizations and common people with small resources can make a big difference. The essay is nicely written and to the point, using plane language bringing the message to the lay reader in an accessible form.

“Snåsamenn – hjemme og ute”, by SH Braathen and M Eriksen is awarded 5000 NOK. It fills the criteria for “Innovation in global health”, because it addresses the under-covered and stigmatized topic of mental health. The article discusses the potentially beneficial role of traditional healers in the field of mental health, whether in Norway or in Africa, and the shortcomings of Western psychiatry if applied uncritically and “out of context”. Traditional healers’ success in promoting mental well-being is related to a human search for respect, dignity and belonging, and the authors suggest that their role should be considered in the development of community-based mental health services in Africa.

By Elinor Bartle

Ny forskerskole innen Global helse – Løfter frem Norge

– Målet med forskerskolen er å øke nettverksaktiviteten mellom stipendiatene, og dermed senke terskelen for å besøke hverandre og samarbeide, sier styreleder Thorkild Tylleskär. -Gjennom dette tror vi at vi kan legge til rette for bedre forskning.

Faglig nettverk

Forskerskolen vil fungere som en støtteordning for stipendiater, hvor de skal få mulighet til å delta på kurs og samlinger de ellers ikke ville fått tilbud om. Tylleskär tror at et lite land som Norge har mye å tjene på en slik ordning: – Selv om noen av de større institusjonene har et fagmiljø, sitter det også mange alene rundt omkring. Gjennom kurstilbud og reisestøtte vil også stipendiater i mindre miljøer og med mindre midler få mulighet til å delta i det faglige nettverket.

Voksende miljø

Det medisinske fakultet ved NTNU er vertsfakultet. – Dette er et bevisst valg, ifølge Tylleskär. – Selv om fagmiljøene er større i Oslo og Bergen ønsket vi å løfte frem det voksende miljøet ved NTNU. I første omgang er det planlagt et skrivekurs før jul, og på nyåret vil alle stipendiatene få mulighet til å delta på skolens første samling på Stiklestad.

– Hevde oss internasjonalt

Forskerskolen er blitt mulig gjennom Forskningsrådets GlobVac, en støtteordning som er blitt viktig for norske forskere innen global helse og vaksinasjon. – Den er med på å løfte Norge frem innen fagfeltet, og gir oss mulighet til å hevde oss internasjonalt, sier Tylleskär.

Saken er hentet fra NTNU som er vertsfakultet for forskerskolen.

Les mer på forskerskolens egne nettsider.



Working together in global health across Norway

The Norwegian Forum for Global Health Research began almost exactly 10 years ago, 16 November 2006. A group from Forum and other global health-interested met in Tromsø 3-4 November, 2016.

The meeting was hosted by Forum and the Centre for Arctic and Global Health (SAG), Norway’s newest global health centre, located at the University of Tromsø. Day 1 (3 Nov.) involved a Forum meeting to discuss highlights from the annual activity plan for 2016 as well as plans for 2017. Day 2 (4 Nov.) was a day-long seminar organized by SAG. A number of the presentations are available on the SAG website.

New global health centre in Tromsø

Forum is committed to improving knowledge exchange and collaboration in global health between Norwegian institutions and researchers. Holding a meeting at the new UiT centre is a part of this strategy. The day-long seminar was entitled, “Global Health in the North”. The range of speakers with short presentations provided an impressive and inspiring glimpse into Global and Arctic health activities at UiT. Forum congratulates the seminar organisers, Inger Scheel, Mona Kiil and Turid Austin Wæhler.

Many of the speakers highlighted principles that are part of Forum’s strategy and purpose:

  • Education is critical to capacity building and sustainable improvements
  • Being culturally aware increases the potential for mutual learning and success
  • Multi, cross-, and inter-disciplinarity approaches are needed
  • Norway, as a small, rich nation, may have a moral obligation to act to improve health and health care in marginalized population groups in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC), but it actually reaps many knowledge- and experience-sharing benefits from such LMIC collaborations

Participants learned more about projects with Russia, Georgia, Tanzania, indigenous peoples, migrants, Haiti, … Speakers shared tips for succeeding with cross-cultural and inter-disciplinary challenges. Future directions include some student-based initiatives.

The impressive range of presentations supports the description SAG has of itself on its website. It says that SAG is a network platform that provides support for networking activities and cross-border collaboration in global health, to health researchers, practitioners and educators based in Northern Norway.

2016 at Forum

Forum has had a busy and successful year. Highlights include:

  • hosting a well-attended conference in Bergen this spring entitled, “Norwegian Global Health Networks with Impact, Bergen 20-21 April 2016”.
  • establishing Norwegian Research School of Global Health (NRSGH) has been established at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). All PhD students across Norway are welcome to participate by becoming members. Membership will enable them to be eligible for travel grants to attend courses in global health subjects taught at institutions across Norway. NRSGH’s first annual PhD conference will be held in conjunction with the GLOBVAC conference next spring, 14-15 March, 2017 in Oslo.
  • Providing input to initiation of a more grounded structure for Norwegian global health activities: the Norwegian Institute of Global Health (NIGH)

Other highlights

SAG is not the only new global health centre to be opened in Norway this year, a Centre for Global Health was also established at the University of Oslo (UiO). The Centre Co-ordinator, Ingeborg Haavardsson, was present in Tromsø.

It was decided that Forum will have a 10-year Jubilee celebration and seminar January 2017. Details will be posted as soon as they are available.

New research school in Global Health – join here!

Are you a PhD Candidate?
Do you have a research project in global health?

September 1st a new national research school in Global Health is launched.
As a member you can get access to:

  • relevant PhD courses
  • our annual PhD Conference
  • grants to participate in courses and conferences, nationally and internationally
  • a network of researchers in Global Health

Visit our website to find out more about what we offer and how to become a member: www.ntnu.edu/nrsgh

Er du ph.d.- kandidat?
Har du et prosjekt med problemstilling innenfor global helse?

1. september lanseres en ny forskerskole i global helse.
Som medlem får du tilgang til:

  • relevante doktorgradskurs ved alle norske universitet
  • årlig ph.d. konferanse
  • stipend for å delta på kurs og konferanser, nasjonal og internasjonalt
  • å møte andre forskere innen global helse

Besøk vår nettside for å finne ut mer om forskerskolen og hvordan du blir medlem: www.ntnu.edu/nrsgh


Recruiting participants for a WHO research prioritization process

Submissions open until 10 August 2016

Submit to: sbce-priorities@who.int

WHO’s Department of Maternal, Newborn, Child and Adolescent Health and partners are conducting a research prioritization process on social, behavioural and community engagement interventions (SBCE) for maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH).

Social, behavioural and community engagement interventions are crucial for achieving the objectives of the Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s, and Adolescent’s Health (2016–2030). However, there is still much that needs to be learned about which social, behavioural and community engagement interventions will have the desired impact and how they can best be implemented. Identifying the research that is most needed will help to direct future research so that it can fill the relevant knowledge gaps. We are asking individuals to help us identify top research needs for SBCE interventions in one of the following domains: maternal, newborn or child health. The period for submission of research needs will remain open until 10 August 2016.

If you would like to participate, please contact us at sbce-priorities@who.int and indicate your field of expertise—maternal, newborn or child, and your main activity: research or programme implementation. We will select participants according to participant recruitment criteria and quotas. If selected, we would then write to you to ask you to suggest the top 3 research needs in your area of expertise, and request generic information (organization affiliation, sex and country(ries) where you work) in a response box via email. Following the close of the period for submission, we will organize the responses received and contact you again via email to ask you to score the submitted research needs through an online survey. All names will be removed from the responses in the analysis and final report.

This research prioritization process is a collaboration between the World Health Organization, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Norwegian Agency for International Development (NORAD), the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH) and the National Institute of Health (NIH).