United Nations University International Institute for Global Health

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United Nations University International Institute for Global Health
Emblem of the United Nations.svg
United Nations University - International Institute for Global Health logo.svg
TypeUniversity, Think Tank
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersKuala Lumpur,  Malaysia
Pascale Allotey
Parent organization
United Nations University, Tokyo

The United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) is part of the United Nations University (UNU). UNU-IIGH is based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and is a global health think tank for the United Nations.


The establishment of UNU-IIGH[edit]

The idea for the establishment of a research and training centre for global health was proposed by UNU and the World Health Organization in 2000 to address issues of global health and public health delivery systems. On the basis of a feasibility study, Malaysia was identified as suitable host country.[1] In May 2006 the UNU Rector, Hans van Ginkel, and the Secretary-General of the Malaysian Ministry of Higher Education, Zulkefli A. Hassan, signed a host country agreement and memorandum of understanding establishing UNU-IIGH in Kuala Lumpur. As part of the host country agreement, the Government of Malaysia agreed to support UNU-IIGH with a capital contribution of US$40 million and operational contributions of US$6.6 million during the Institute’s 10 years of operation.[2]


The mandate of UNU-IIGH is to conduct research to develop and strengthen health service policy and management, particularly in developing countries.

UNU-IIGH’s objectives are:[1]

  1. to undertake and strengthen research in global health, with a particular focus on approaches to health in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development;
  2. to build and enhance capacity for solutions to key global health issues, especially in developing countries; and
  3. to promote networking among global health institutions between countries.


UNU-IIGH began operations in June 2007 from temporary premises on the campus of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM), in Kuala Lumpur. The official launch of UNU-IIGH, in December 2007, coincided with relocation to the UKM Hospital Complex building in, Kuala Lumpur [3]. In April 2008 UNU-IIGH moved into its current premises [4].

The first Director of UNU-IIGH was Mohamed Salleh Mohamed Yasin.[5] To date there have been three Directors at UNU-IIGH and one Acting Director. The current Director, since September 2017, is Prof. Pascale Allotey of Ghana. List of Directors of United Nations University International Institute of Global Health:

# Director Commenced Ended
1 Mohamed Salleh Mohamed Yasin June 2007 July 2013
2 Anthony G. Capon August 2013 August 2016
3 Obijiofor Aginam (Acting) September 2016 August 2017
4 Pascale Allotey September 2017[6] Incumbent

Institutional framework[edit]

The Council of UNU determines the principles and policies guiding the whole university. The Board of Advisors, Chaired by [Sania Nishtar][7] and comprising well-known global health experts, policy-makers, and scientists from around the world, advises on research and other activities. The Director of UNU-IIGH has overall responsibility for the research and management of the Institute and implements the research programme in keeping with guidelines set out by the Board and the Council. UNU functions as a decentralized 'network of networks' with an interdisciplinary and global perspective. The UNU system comprises the UNU Centre in Tokyo and a worldwide network of institutes.


During the directorship of the first director, Salleh, UNU-IIGH advanced a theme of research in the development and implementation of opensource casemix software as well as health systems financing.[8] [9] During the directorship of second director, Capon, and the interregnum of Aginam themes of research in urban health and in planetary health were developed.[10][11][12][13] The work included contributions to the Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on planetary health [14].


  1. 1.0 1.1 "About UNU-IIGH". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  2. United Nations University: Annual Report 2006 (PDF). United Nations University. 2007. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  3. United Nations University: Annual Report 2007 (PDF). United Nations University. 2008. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  4. United Nations University: Annual Report 2008 (PDF). United Nations University. 2009. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  5. "DIRECTOR OF NEW UNITED NATIONS UNIVERSITY INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR GLOBAL HEALTH APPOINTED" (Press release). New York: United Nations. United Nations. 2007-03-07. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  6. "United Nations University Welcomes Two New Directors, in Portugal and Malaysia". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  7. "Dr Sania Nishtar appointed BISP chairperson". TheNews International. 2018-10-30. Retrieved 2018-11-05.
  8. Al-Junid, Syed Mohamad Hamzah; Aljunid, Syed Mohamed; Ahmed, Zafar; Mustaffa, Hasrul Reeza (2014-01-29). "Development of UNU-Casemix Grouper standard integration tool kit for hospital information system (HIS) in selected hospitals in Malaysia and Indonesia". BMC Public Health. 14 (Suppl 1): S1. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-S1-P17. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  9. Mustaff, Hasrul Reeza; Aljunid, Syed Mohamed; Ahmed, Zafar; Al-Junid, Syed Mohamad Hamzah (2014-01-29). "Web based application for Casemix Grouper (Online Casemix Grouper)". BMC Public Health. 14 (Suppl 1): 15. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-14-S1-P15. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  10. Siri, José Gabriel (2016-10-28). "Sustainable, healthy cities: making the most of the urban transition". Public Health Reviews. 37: 22. doi:10.1186/s40985-016-0037-0. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  11. Chapman, Ralph; Howden-Chapman, Philippa; Capon, Anthony (2016-04-25). "Understanding the systemic nature of cities to improve health and climate change mitigation". Environment International. 94: 380. doi:10.1016/j.envint.2016.04.014. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  12. Siri, José Gabriel; Newell, Barry; Proust, Katrina; Capon, Anthony (2015-07-28). "Urbanization, Extreme Events, and Health". Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health. 28 (2_suppl): 15S. doi:10.1177/1010539515595694. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  13. Oliviera, Jose A.; Doll, Christopher N. H.; Siri, José; Dreyfus, Magall; Farzaneh, Hooman; Capon, Anthony (2015-11-01). "Urban governance and the systems approaches to health-environment co-benefits in cities". Cadernos de Saúde Pública. 31 (Supl 1): S25. doi:10.1590/0102-311X00010015. Retrieved 2018-10-16.
  14. Whitmee, Sarah; Haines, Andy; Beyrer, Chris; Boltz, Frederick; Capon, Anthony G (2015-11-14). "Safeguarding human health in the Anthropocene epoch: report of The Rockefeller Foundation-Lancet Commission on planetary health". The Lancet. 386 (10007): 1973. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(15)60901-1. Retrieved 2018-10-16.

External links[edit]

Video clips[edit]

Coordinates: 3°05′55″N 101°43′32″E / 3.0985105°N 101.7256812°E / 3.0985105; 101.7256812

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