Plinio Morita and colleagues from UNICEF Mongolia

Plinio Morita and colleagues at the United Nations Children's Fund, Mongolia.

The Global Health Policy and Innovation Research Centre (GHPI) aims to bring multi-disciplinary strategies to the development of innovative policies that address inequities in access to health across the globe.

Expanding international trade and travel raise concerns about the spread of infectious diseases such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), Ebola and Zika. At the same time, improvements in infectious disease control, maternal and child health and sanitation and hygiene mean people are living longer. With an ageing population and global trends indicating increases in unhealthy eating and sedentary lifestyles, there are corresponding increases in non-communicable diseases.

The ambitious health goals set out in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs: 2015-2030) include focusing progress towards universal health coverage (UHC) and improving health systems. The SDGs health focus also includes providing financial protection to preserve families from ruin due to catastrophic health events. However, due to economic instability in many countries, funding for pressing global health challenges has declined.

This context raises a need for timely responses in global health policy and provides an exciting innovation space in global health research and policy that researchers from across faculties in the University of Waterloo have become engaged in.