Global Health Centre

Decolonising Global Health: from discourse to practice

International Geneva Global Health Platform
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Online panel discussion

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Webinar | Decolonising Global Health: from discourse to practice


Historically, the discourse of public health has been shaped by the interests of countries and actors based in the global north, often to the detriment of marginalised populations in the global south. In recent years the decolonial movement has been gaining momentum to address power asymmetries by questioning the governance structure of global health as the direct legacy of the colonial era. The goal of health for all cannot be achieved unless global health funding stops operating as "aid and charity". The universal values of equity and justice in aid coordination and delivery can counter colonial vestiges of production and deployment of knowledge and skills. 

Calls to decolonise global health have reverberated strongly in the Geneva global health ecosystem, where inequities in global access to COVID-19 vaccines were a watershed moment. Calls for decolonising global health echo geopolitical re-alignments, such as the African Union taking a united stand on global health issues; the headquartering of major global health actors largely in the global north; the lack of diversity in the leadership of many organisations; and persistent opacities when it comes to priority-setting, decision-making, and operational control in global health.

Moving beyond the prevailing discussions, what does it mean to decolonise global health governance in practical terms? What examples exist of successful decolonisation of international cooperation in global health? What examples exist of just global health governance structures that have reimagined aid in the post-pandemic world? These and other questions will be explored in a provocative, frank and forward-looking discussion about the complex intersectionalities of governance, aid, and the promotion of global solidarity.

Join us for a lively conversation with the speakers and the audience!



Welcome Remarks by Ellen Rosskam | Coordinator, International Geneva Global Health Platform

  • Ravi Ram | Board Member, Kampala Initiative; Co-Chair, WHO Civil Society Commission
  • Hafid Derbal | Co-Desk for Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Co-Program Coordinator for Zimbabwe, South Africa and Mozambique, Terre des Hommes Schweiz
  • Danny Gotto | Founder & Executive Director of Innovations for Development (I4DEV), Uganda
  • Agnes Binagwaho | Retired Vice Chancellor, University of Global Health Equity; Former Minister of Health, Rwanda

Closing Remarks by Martin Leschhorn Strebel | Director, Medicus Mundi Switzerland; President, Medicus Mundi International

Moderated by David McCoy | Evidence to Policy Research Lead, United Nations University’s International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH)

Access speakers' biographies


Organised by

The International Geneva Global Health PlatformMedicus Mundi Switzerland and Medicus Mundi International.

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