“In a world striving for progress and development,
we cannot overlook the glaring disparities in health that persist among populations.
It is our collective responsibility to dismantle barriers, address inequalities,
and forge a path towards a future where everyone can enjoy
the highest attainable standard of health in a healthier and more equitable world.”
The UNESCO Chair
"Training and Empowering Human Resources for Health Development in Resource-Limited Countries"
Wait, what is a UNESCO Chair?
Launched in 1992, the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme, which involves over 850 institutions in 120 countries, promotes international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge sharing and collaborative work. The programme supports the establishment of UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in key priority areas related to UNESCO’s fields of competence – i.e. in education, the natural and social sciences, culture and communication.
Through this network, higher education and research institutions all over the globe pool their resources, both human and material, to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies.
The UNESCO Chair "Training and Empowering Human Resources for Health Development in Resource-Limited Countries" at the University of Brescia
Established in 2014, the UNESCO Chair "Training and Empowering Human Resources for Health Development in Resource-Limited Countries" at the University of Brescia, aims to contribute to the achievement of global sustainable development goals, both at the local and global level, with a particular focus on equity in health, migration, maternal and child health, capacity building and the fight against major communicable diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and other poverty-related diseases in resource-limited contexts.
The mission of the UNESCO Chair aligns with the principles of "leave no one behind" and equity. Following the United Nations' commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), our Chair aims to ensure that every individual, regardless of their background or circumstances, has equal access to quality healthcare and the opportunity to live a healthy life. We recognize that achieving health equity is essential to creating a fair and just society.
In line with SDG 3, which focuses on ensuring healthy lives and promoting well-being for all, our Chair works towards universal health coverage and advocates for the provision of quality healthcare services to vulnerable populations. We strive to address these inequities by promoting evidence-based, inclusive, and sustainable approaches to healthcare that prioritize the most marginalized and underserved communities.
The Chair has contributed to achieving a major international milestone for the University of Brescia. The University has reached the 27th position in the world rankings for SDG 3 and the 52nd position for SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) in the 2023 edition of The University Impact Rankings. This ranking is the first of its kind to evaluate universities' dedication to establishing innovative frameworks for social, cultural, and economic progress aligned with the UN 2030 Agenda Goals.
We believe that the right to health is a fundamental human right, as stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights. Our mission is to contribute to the realization of this fundamental right by empowering human resources for health and promoting research, education, and cooperation in resource-limited countries, through collaborative efforts and a transdisciplinary approach.
Activities: Promotion of high-quality educational activities
The Chair is committed to organizing advanced training courses in the field of global health
Post-graduate course in Global Health
The Course is recognized as the Core Course of the TropEd European Master in International Health (www.troped.org). The course will delve into topics related to public policies for global health, epidemiology and research methods, international cooperation and migration health and the global burden of diseases, with a particular focus on infectious diseases.
Many Professors from International Institutions and Organizations, such as TropEd Universities, WHO, and National and International NGOs, have been participating in the Course. The UNESCO Chair of the University of Brescia annually offers a full scholarship for healthcare professionists from resource-limited countries
Troped European Master in International Health
The Troped European Master in International Health has been offered by the University of Brescia since 2019 and through the TropEd network offers the opportunity to undertake a curricular course of advanced training in International and Global Health, focusing on the factors that influence the health of all human populations, and in particular on health problems related to poverty in low- and middle-income countries.
Summer School in International Cooperation – G. Tovini Foundation and Museke Foundation
The Summer School is co-organized by the “G. Tovini Foundation” and “Museke Foundation”, in collaboration with UNESCO Chairs of the University of Brescia and Catholic University of the “Sacro Cuore”, Brescia. The aim of the Course is to increase the knowledge of international cooperation strategies to reflect on the pedagogical paradigm implemented for the promotion and integral development of people.
Migration and Health: a world on the move -The European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID)
ESCMID sponsored the organization of the second edition of the Post-Graduated Course in Migration Health proposed by the UNESCO Chair of University of Brescia, together with the International Society of Travel Medicine (ISTM), ESGTIM, McGill University, Montreal, Canada and St George University of London, UK.
Activities: Implementation of healthcare cooperation projects
The Chair strives to promote equitable access to quality healthcare services, especially in rural areas of Mozambique, through local partnerships and non-governmental organizations operating in the field (Medicus Mundi Italia and Museke Foundation). By undertaking cooperative initiatives, we aim to improve healthcare delivery and accessibility in resource-limited settings. Visit the website: Mozambico - Medicus Mundi Italia.
The UNESCO Chair also maintains collaborative scientific relationships with the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana, and the HopeXChange Medical Center.
The Chair prioritizes conducting research on communicable and poverty-related diseases, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in both Europe and highly endemic countries. Our research areas of focus also include migration medicine and health in resource limited countries.
Activities: Development of international collaborations
The Chair actively seeks to establish and expand partnerships with universities and higher education institutions in resource-limited countries. Notable partnerships include:
- Ethiopian Catholic University St Thomas Aquinas (ECUSTA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia;
- Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda;
- Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana;
- HopeXChange Medical Centre;
- SAVE University in Mozambique.
Chairholder Prof. Francesco Castelli
Dipartimento di Scienze Cliniche e Sperimentali