Barcelona Institute for Global Health

“The global target of eliminating malaria in at least 35 new countries by 2030 is an enormous challenge but can become a reality if we engage the best minds to develop solutions to the most intractable problems, translate the best evidence into policy and ensure funding and political commitment.”

-Regina Rabinovich, Director of the ISGlobal Malaria Elimination Initiative

The Barcelona Institute for Global Health, ISGlobal, is the fruit of an innovative public-private alliance between academic, government, and philanthropic institutions to tackle health problems affecting the world’s most vulnerable populations. Its ultimate goal is to improve global health and promote health equity through excellence in the implementation of projects in the areas of Research, Training and Policy, and international cooperation.

ISGlobal’s mission is to provide a hub of excellence that will continue and expand the work in international health research and health care started more than 30 years ago by the University of Barcelona (UB) and the University Hospital Clinic, two institutions with which the institute maintains organic links. Founded in the year 1450, the UB is the largest and most diverse academic institution in Catalonia, serving over 90,000 students each year in bachelors and postgraduate degree courses in both face-to-face and distance learning modes.

Malaria research with a special focus on the tools and strategies that would advance the elimination of malaria is the backbone of ISGlobal activities. Through its Malaria Elimination Initiative, ISGlobal conducts scientific work ranging from basic science to implementation research. It also ensures the translation of scientific evidence into concrete action by supporting the development of effective malaria elimination policies, advocating for enhanced leadership and financing for malaria in low incidence disease scenarios, and training the next generation of public health scientists, both in the lab and in endemic countries, to tackle the key problems in the field.

In close collaboration with the Manhiça Health Research Centre, in Mozambique, the Initiative supports the National Malaria Control Programme in its efforts to eliminate malaria in the south of the country through knowledge generation, development of surveillance systems, training, advocacy, and the creation of coordination mechanisms. These activities fall under the umbrella of the Mozambican Alliance towards the Elimination of Malaria and are funded by a collaborative agreement between “la Caixa” Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF). ISGlobal also hosts the secretariat of the Malaria Eradication Scientific Alliance (MESA), a dedicated platform to drive an evidence-based approach to malaria eradication, create knowledge management tools, and accelerate research, especially in areas relevant for policy makers and programs, also funded by the BMGF.

In 2013, in recognition to its contributions in malaria, ISGlobal was designated a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Malaria Control, Elimination and Eradication.