Global health projects

We undertake a range of policy work focusing on the health of people around the world.

Our largest piece of work in this area was the world’s first comprehensive review on the increasing global problem of multimorbidity. This addressed the lack of information about the growing number of people worldwide suffering from more than one serious health condition. We highlighted the inadequacy of existing evidence to guide health policy and medical practice, and suggested a series of urgent research priorities. We are now leading as a hub organisation for future work in this area, which has already led to a joint funding call in the UK context.

“The Academy’s report on multimorbidity has galvanised policy-makers, funders and researchers to ask, “What can be done to better serve these patients and their families?”

Professor Chris Whitty CB FMedSci, Chief Scientific Adviser for the Department of Health and Social Care

Our Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) supported policy work has also brought together researchers and policy makers from around the globe, helping overseas medical academies in low and middle income countries to strengthen their role in evidence-based policy making by hosting international scientific meetings on key global health challenges.

Our GCRF meetings catalyse policy work at our international partners, primarily other National Academies, building in-country capacity to provide scientific policy advice and supporting them to become driving forces for change in their region.

The Academy of Medical Sciences’ GCRF policy grant has supported ten policy workshops since 2016 with a further eleven workshops taking place in 2019 and 2020. Our workshop on multimorbidity in South Africa enabled the Academy of Science of South Africa to leverage meetings with the South African Medical Research Council, Department of Health and World Health Organization. Upcoming workshops include urban health, preparing for epidemics and non-communicable diseases - find out more.

Our GCRF grant also enables at least one academic from a country eligible for Official Development Assistance to join the Academy’s international working group projects, as part of further capacity-building work. 

We also work with partner academies around the world to build networks and strengthen global commitment to biomedical and health research. Recent joint meetings include a UK-Japan symposium on medical imaging and artificial intelligence, a meeting with the US National Academy of Medicine to discuss how the behavioural sciences can improve health, and a UK-India meeting supported by the Hamied Foundation on the global challenge of antimicrobial resistance.

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